India is home to diverse cultural heritage due to varied hegemony over the timeline. This led to accumulation and popularity of various cultural aspects including artisanship. The word handicraft is made up of two words namely- hand + craft, thus providing evidence of our cultural heritage. Meenakari is one of them.
Also called, Enameling, it is an old and adopted technology used by Egyptians, Greek, Celtic, Russian and Chinese civilizations. Mansingh of Amber brought master enamellers from Lahore to Jaipur in the 16th century and over time, it acquired a distinctly Indian flavor, while still retaining the Persian touch. Jaipur is the center focused on Meenakari. From there distinct styles of Meenakari evolved in Bikaner, Udaipur, Nathdwara, Delhi, and Varanasi.
The word “MEENA” in “Meenakari” is the feminine form of “MINOO” which means heaven in Persian. It is the regal art of decorating and coloring jewelry.
It is categorized into three types –
- Painting enamel
- Charkhaheh or chess like enamel
- Cavity enamel
The process of meenakari isn’t very complicated but requires lots of dedication and concentration. The beauty lies in the period of heating and the artist’s precision. The final calligraphy is designed on the body before finally setting the Mina by heating in the furnace.
Here, in Swadesi, we offer a number of products depicting the beauty of Meenakari that not only highlights its charisma but also acknowledges the diligence and artistry of craftsmen from different corners of the country. We offer a huge variety of products including a tea set, pen holder, table clock, key holder, coasters and other daily use objects that continually remind us of this gift from our Indian heritage.
Damage to the edges of the body by mechanical impacts or inappropriate heating, faulty base or weak junction between different layers can result in poor enamel quality and spoil the entire look. The biggest risk is the separation of the decorated surface due to mechanical impact. Hence, care is to be taken while transporting.
It is a long and laborious art form that can take months to complete a single piece of ornament.