Participants learned the traditional art of ‘Meenakari’ in an online session ‘Mesmerising Meenakari’ by Shilpguru Inder Singh Kudrat. The session was organised by Jawahar Kala Kendra (JKK) on Zoom. It focused on the history of ‘Meenakari’, technique and skills involved, materials and tools required to create beautiful ‘Meenakari’ masterpieces.
The session began with the master craftsmen giving a brief overview of ‘Meenakari’. He said that his forefather was the founder of Meenakari craft in Jaipur. His family came to Jaipur to practice the craft under the royal patronage of Raja Man Singh. Over time Jaipur became the hub for this precious craft. The ‘Meenakari’ done in Jaipur is known as ‘Desi Meenakari’. The colours used in this are made by hand and no chemicals are used. Three types of metals are used in this namely copper, silver and gold. A variety of products like earrings, necklaces, mang tikka, rings and home décor items are made with ‘Meenakari’ work.
He said that the process of ‘Meenkari’ is intricate and arduous. There are many tools involved in designing, colouring, engraving, ornamenting and polishing an art piece. First, the geometric design is made on paper with a 4H hard pencil. It must be sharpened to a fine point. This design is then transferred to the item which will be engraved. Different tools are sharpened and used to dig, scratch and carve the metal with the designs. After this, the item is polished for shine. “Handcrafted items should be recommended to friends and family for gifting purposes. This will encourage the talented craftsmen into continuing with their art as well as bring forward more unique and creative crafts”, he said.
Tomorrow, 6 July, will be the concluding day of the ‘Mesmerising Meenakari’ online session by Shilpguru Inder Singh Kudrat at 3 pm on Zoom. The session will focus on the techniques and skills required and different types of ‘Meenakari’ designs.