The art of metal etching gives a completely new dimension to otherwise trivial-looking metal forms. Craftsmen leverage this art form to draw images of abstract floral motifs, animal figures and different gods directly on the metal vessels. The distinguished erotic sculptures of Khajuraho’s ancient temples are sources of great inspiration for these metal etchings.
Techniques like etching and embossing have been used to adorn metal for hundreds of years in different places. Unlike other forms of traditional Indian art, craftsmen don’t start off by drawing rough sketches or referring to any guidelines. All they need is a hammer along with various types of chisels (in different shapes) to hit the metal to illustrate beautiful stories.
The craftsman may either choose to portray moments with straight or curved lines. You may notice tiny dots in the background close together to pay attention to the subjects and their expressions. Either curved or diamond-shaped chisels are put to use to give shape to decorative borders.
For imparting an antique finish to these items, craftsmen treat them with copper, silver and citric acid. Brass is the most preferred material for this kind of craft as it is neither as hard nor slippery as steel nor as soft as copper. Silver has also been used in this craft.