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Meenakari

  • Some exceptional facts about the royal art of India-Meenakari

    We all are huge fans of this beautiful and subtle art form which is known as Meenakari. It is one of the very old and distinguished art forms of the Indian culture and tradition which is famous for its exclusive designs.

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    Meenakari is basically an enamelling of metals. It is the specialty of ornamenting and enamelling metal surfaces by painting and enriching them with beautiful designs, and after that, they are heated in the Klein to give them a required shape. The heating process helps in hardening the colours and fusing the metal. It is an ancient art form which is passed from one generation to the other. Hence not only we Indians like Meenakari designs and works, but the demand of these products is high in the global market too.

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    Here are a few lesser known facts about this colourful handicraft:

    • Meenakari is not actually an Indian art form as it is Persian art which was brought to India by the Persian enamellists in the 17th century when Mughals were ruling the country.
    • Meena or Mina is known as the feminine form of the Persian word “Minoo” which means heaven, and it signifies the purplish blue shade of paradise.
    • The art of meenakari looks best on gold metal because gold has a natural sheen. This helps the natural colours of meenakari to set beautifully in the metal as it also holds the enamel wonderfully and also adds a sparkle in the same.
    • Do you know that the colours of the meenakari work can be cleansed through a mixture of lemon and tamarind? Well yes, it helps in cleaning the colours of the art piece naturally and also preserves its natural look and texture.
    • Besides jewellery, Meenakari is also being used in crafting the designs of jewellery boxes, gods’ idols, crockery, trays, cupboards, bowls, sculptures, paintings and many more things. Hence the modern form of this traditional art has a very vast scope and is not limited to one particular area or region.
    • At first, Meenakari was only done on gold, but now silver and copper are also being used for creating it.. While gold is mainly used for designing Meenakari jewellery, silver and copper are used for bowls, spoons, brightening ancient rarities, icons, sculptures, etc. The remains of Mughal era show the signs of meenakari on hookahs and paan-daan (traditional boxes for keeping betel leaves) too.
    • There are mainly 3 types of Meenakari: “Ek Rang Khula Meena” in which only one color is used to engrave the piece of metal, “Panch Rangi Meena” in which 5 primary colours are used which are white, light blue, green, dark blue and red, and “Gulabi Meena” in which rose pink is used. Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh is renowned for gulabi meena works.

    Artisans at Poompuhar produce Meenakari handicrafts combining traditional techniques with modern ideas. Visit the Poompuhar e-commerce website to view our collection of Meenakari products and get them delivered at your home.

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