Dhokra is the name given to a nomadic tribe of metal-smiths who are spread across Chattisgarh, Jarkhand, West Bengal and Orissa. This metal casting art form involves the technique of lost wax or ‘cire perdue’ and can evidence of its existence can be traced back to the Mohenjo-daro civilization.
This art form has two variations to it- Solid Casting and Hollow Casting. The Solid Casting method is more popular in South India that does not involve a clay core but a solid piece of wax instead, to create a mold.
The Hollow Casting technique is more popular in Central and Eastern India wherein the traditional method of using clay to create core is followed. The creation of a mold in the hollow casting method involves multiple layers of clay and wax and once made, the metal is poured into it.
The clay is then cooked and the wax drains through the ducts created in mold and the metal now takes the form/shape of the wax. Finally, the outer layer of clay is removed and the product is polished and ready to be sold.
Artists: Phoolsingh Beshra and Erful Beshra