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We all come across metals in our daily lives. Metals play a vital role in our human’s life. From a utensil to a showpiece we procure metals. Metals are found in solid form and are very strong except mercury; hence the metals are used in construction of the buildings, railways, bridges and many more. Metals have a lustrous appearance, thus it is used in ornaments and decorative artifacts. Metals can be shaped into anything like a sheet, wire and objects, due to its malleability, fusible and ductility characteristics. Metals are very good conductors, hence they are used in electrical appliances. Metals are sound makers, thus they are used in musical instruments. Metals are essentially recyclable; hence it is highly recommendable substance to use.
Metal have been extracted from the earth by mining ores, which are the sources for many metal industries. Metal works requires masculine efforts, extraordinary skills and strength. Metals are been taken into a consideration as a much desired matter of state to the human’s life. Thus it is evident in every corner of human existence. Metal is been composed into many alloys by mixing often two metals or a metal with a chemical element, for the good enhancement of the material. Steel, solder, brass, phosphor bronze are few examples for alloys. As referred before metals have many characters that is favorable to human lives which lead to invention for innumerable objects.
Metal art is present from the ancient times to make objects for adornments, religious artifacts, and trade instruments of precious metals and weaponry instruments. The artisans, blacksmiths, atharvavedic practitioners, alchemist, and other categories of metalworkers around the globe are practiced the metal art. In India the origin of metal art arose at the time of Indus valley civilization, a beautiful figurine of a dancing girl. Ever since then India is been extraordinary metal art producer. Different places holds unique styles of metal art, like koftagari art of Rajasthan, rich engraved traditional silver samovars of Kashmir, cast sculptures of deities in Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat; Madhya Pradesh Ornate metal boxes of Bundelkhand, lamps of Sarguja, rice measuring bowls and animal figurines of raigarh; Andhra Pradesh bidri ware, sheet metal work of Pembarti, well-designed utensils of Srikakulam and the very famous Dokra metal art from various tribal belts of Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Madhya Pradesh.
Kerala is one of the finest places to find exclusive arts and handicrafts. Metal craft is the pride of gods own country, Kerala. Bell metal that is Brass casting is one of the oldest traditional art forms practiced still now in Kerala. Brass metal is been acquired in various metal art forms because of its gold like appearances, lustrous features and its combination of high workability with hand tools and durability. Brass metal is also used in musical instruments like saxophone, harmonica, trumpet and many more because of its acoustic property. Idols, exquisite variety of traditional lamps, arches and pedestals for the idols and many decoratives for the temples are made out of brass. Multi-layered lamps, the Greek lamp (Changalavatta), the Archana lamp, the Arati Dipa , the Aranmula metal mirror are few fame products made out of brass metal in Kerala. Even now few artisans from Trivandrum practices the Koftagari style of work in figures of deities, landscapes, floral designs and fancy articles.
Padoli Govindan Andhithiriyan from Padoli, Kerala is the one of the artisans who practices and has experience of fifty years in brass casting. Being the son of the father who served in temple by making traditional brass equipment inherits this tradition from the age of fifteen. The artisan owns a studio and equipment required for the brass casting in Padoli along with the help of family support and very skilled employees. The artisan implements lost wax method to make beautiful brass articles.