Twisted threads of silver are soldered on to the surface to create filigree. An astonishing work of handicraft, filigree involves kneading, twisting and melding of metals like gold and silver. This delicate kind of metalwork is achieved after long hours of diligent work by committed artisans.
The proficiency and advancement of the filigree craft is usually associated with Greeks, Egyptians, and Etruscans. It goes back to around 6 BC to 3 BC.
In Mesopotamia, filigree workmanship is still evident today in the form of delicately designed ‘Telkari’ jewellery (both in silver and gold).
Interestingly, archaeologists have found evidence of an advanced filigree technique from Andhra Pradesh (Peddabunkur, Kotlingala, Dhulikata and Kondapur) in India dating back to 2 BC to 2 AD.
Historians have also noted the influence of foreign art playing into the Indian designs.
The Portuguese for instance, may have influenced the Karimnagar (Telangana) craftsmen with their filigree objects d’ art. The connecting point is the early trade links between these regions. Similarly, ‘Tarakashi’ or the silver filigree work of Cuttack in Orissa is likely to have been influenced by the Indonesian silver art.
Artists first draw the matrix of the design on a piece of paper. Later, pure silver wires are placed on the design sheets in accordance with the alluring shapes of the drawings. An exquisite work of trellis is thus achieved by melding gossamer-thin silver filaments onto it.
This meticulous technique involves 300 to 4500 man-hours in order to create a single filigree piece.
Stunning Range of Designs
If you thought filigree is only used to make jewelry like brooches, hairpins, and earrings, you got to know more about this enchanting form of art.
A wide range of beautiful artifacts, home decor pieces and corporate gifts are made using silver filigree. These include decorative birds and animals, silver pens, inscriptions for temples, statues of gods and goddesses, boxes, platters, business card holders, perfume holders, and replicas of famous monuments such as Taj Mahal and Konark Temple.
Available at Delhi