Metal craft has flourished all over India in different states in their own means of forms and perfections. Metal can been acquired to any form, be it a plate, tumbler, bowl or anything. Metals are transferable from a thin wire to a huge metal sheet, vice versa. Metals are malleable and ductile in nature thus flexibility of usage. Metals are ubiquitous in nature. They are good conductors of electricity. Metals are dug deep from the earth’s crust in form of minerals and compounds. Many things have been invented and brought after discovering the metals on earth. Metals have generated enormous employees to work upon them accordingly. Metals play an important role in our lives by being an armature to the building to helping us while eating food without dirtying our hands like a spoon. Likewise it has replaced too many things like earthen pot to metal utensils.
In Orissa the metal crafts have been introduced at the time of Ganga Dynasty that is at 11th century till date it has been flourished and successful with lots of developments. Balakati village is situated in Puri district of Orissa that is one among the best traditional manufactures of brass, bell metal utensils and temples articles. It is said that this craft is originated and grew from 1400 AD. Brass and bell metal are purely traditional metals used in making the utensils. Once you enter this village you get to hear metals thumping with craftsmen shrieking while hammering with excitement.
These metals are nonferrous in nature with desirable properties which makes this metal more anticipated. Nonferrous metals are lighter in weight, they are good conductors of electricity and non-magnetic property. These are used in auspicious occasions in most of the households in India. Most of the artisans belong to a traditional community, which inhabits the practices and customs of brass and bell metal work called Kansari. They work in a workshop called Sala or shed that happens to be just beside their resident.
Mr. Sridhar Sahu is one of the Bell metal and Brass artisans who resides in Balakati, Puri district, Orissa. He inhabits this craft from his father and started to make this craft from the age of ten. He owns a studio space where he employs ten other skilled members in production of beautiful bell metal utensils. His sons also inherits the skills and talent in making this craft. Mr. Sridhar Sahu’s wife also takes an active part in making this craft. The products they manufactures goes to the market from a dealer. Our sincere gratitude towards this gentlemen who co-operated while videography and photography documentation.