Author: Shad Moien Ahamd
Kashmiri copperware is a magnificent example of the intricate and sophisticated artistry of metalworking. The craft of creating copperware is deeply rooted in Kashmiri culture and dates back several centuries. Historians believe that the art of copperware was introduced by artisans and traders from Iran and Iraq over seven hundred years ago. It is believed that an Islamic scholar from Persia, Mir Sayyid Ali Hamdani, played a crucial role in bringing copperware to Kashmir, and he brought craftsmen from Central Asia to train the locals.
During the reign of King Budshah Zain-ul-Abideen, the copperware craft flourished. Metalworking in Kashmir during the Mughal era was focused on making gun barrels and swords. Techniques such as casting and forging iron, along with enamelings, or Meenakari as it is commonly known, were used to decorate the handles of swords. With the decline of the Mughal era towards the end of the 19th century, the skills of Kashmiri metalworkers became oriented towards making vessels ornamented with Meenakari. This technique was applied to silver jewellery, brass, and copperware, such as serving pots, jugs, and trays.
Process of Making Kashmiri Copper Ware
The process of making Kashmiri copper ware is a labor-intensive one, with each step requiring precision and skill. The first step in the process is the selection of high-quality copper sheets. The copper sheets are then cut into the desired shape and size using a hammer and chisel. Once the shape has been formed, the sheet is heated and hammered into the desired shape using a mallet. After the shape has been formed, the artisan uses a small chisel to create intricate designs on the surface of the copper. These designs are typically inspired by the natural beauty of the Kashmir Valley, with patterns of flowers, leaves, and vines being common. The designs are then polished to give the copper a smooth finish.
Unique Design Patterns
The designs on Kashmiri copper ware are what set them apart from other copper wares. The designs are typically intricate and detailed, with each piece being a unique work of art. The most common design patterns include floral motifs, paisley patterns, and geometric designs. These designs are not only aesthetically pleasing but also serve a functional purpose, with the patterns helping to disperse heat and keep the contents of the utensil warm.
Where to Buy Kashmiri Copper Ware
Kashmiri copper ware is available in many stores and markets across India. However, for those who want to support local artisans and get the best quality products, hamiast.com is the best place to buy. Hamiast sells and promotes products made by local artisans, helping to support the local economy and preserve traditional handicrafts.
Conclusion Kashmiri copper ware is not just a functional utensil, but a work of art that has been an important part of the cultural heritage of the Kashmir Valley for centuries. The intricate designs and unique patterns of these copper wares are a testament to the skill and craftsmanship of the local artisans. By supporting local artisans and buying Kashmiri copper ware, we can help to preserve this important cultural artifact for future generations.