The piece created uses the inherent imperfections of the two very different craft process as design elements. Thanks to sand casting, the piece will have a grainy sand texture and nuggets of silvery alloys, which are only references to the sand molds and the recycled materials used. And on account of combining this craft with that of traditional lac-turned-wood, the piece will also have irregular rainbow colours, adding to its uniqueness.
Communities Crafting Sustainability :
Lacquer-turned-wood art has been been practised as an art form since centuries by the semi-nomadic tribal Wada community who then moved to Kachchh's Nirona and Jura villages where they used the their technical and artistic skills to sustain the lac-turned-wood craft tradition. They collected natural stones and colours from the forests, made colourful lacquer goods such as furniture and household accessories, and then bartered them with the pastoralist Maldhari community. As of today, there are only a few traditional lacquer artisan families continuing this craft in Kachchh. Reha's Lohar community, on the other hand, have been practicing the craft of making handmade knives and swords, that's over 900 years old. One of the last few villages that today makes knives by hand using a process that involves cold forging, sand casting, polishing and buffing, Khamir is working towards reviving this craft with design interventions that use the sand casting technique, and also help recycle metal waste.
What's in The Technique:
This piece is a combination of 2 traditional Kutchi crafts, lac-turned-wood art from Nirona and sand casting from Reha. In lacquered wood art, the colours used are natural and the designs are obtained using a simple self-made lathe, made of wood and a string operated by hand. Sand casting, on the other hand, involves the use of a coal-fuelled furnace, metal, pattern, and sand molds. The metal is melted in the furnace and then ladled and poured into the cavity of the sand mold, which is formed by the pattern. The sand mold separates along a parting line and the solidified casting can be removed.