Usta art is a combination of different techniques. Gold emboss work or Sunehri Munawwati Nakkashi work is completed in many stages.
Earlier Usta art was used to make over the walls, ceilings, and camel hides but nowadays MDF, Wood, Metal, Marble, and Brickwall can be painted. The surface is selected and prepared according to the requirement.
Preparation needs attention to smoothen well and no loose particles to exist over the surface. It is done by sanding with higher grades of sanding paper no. 200/400/800. Afterwards, the surface is painted with primer and let it cure well.
Drawing / Template Pasting:
Usually, artists use templates if the design pattern has repetitive work. Sometimes they need to put extra effort to fix the design if the design is totally fresh. The artisans draw intricate design patterns over the media.
Sometimes charcoal powder is rubbed on the tracing paper to print the design on the surface. Then the artist can start directly working on it.
Base Colouring / aka "Akhbara":
Now the design has to be painted with the lighter shade. While the colour cures the paste of chemical putty, this is readily available in the market nowadays. But earlier putty was made with a mixture of gum, naushadar, pot clay and jaggery ingredient.
In the previous step, the putty has to lay over the designing part which needs to be embossed. After embossing, leave it to dry for a few hours.
Laying Yellow base coat for gold foil:
After the well dried embossed putty; two coats of yellow enamel paint are applied which acts as a base coat for gold foil work. The artisan makes sure that after performing any colouring step he leaves the artefacts for a couple of hours to dry uniformly.
Gold Leaf work (the culminating step of art):
The desired part of the intricate design is layered with 24-carat gold foil over the yellow-painted space. Thereafter black pointed brush is used to draw the outline for every single pattern and the remaining negative space is filled with vibrant colours artist especially uses green and red colours.