Hand-crafted brass objects date back thousands of years. The purpose of these delicate artifacts was utility in some shape or form. But it speaks to man's inherent nature to create things that are aesthetically appealing. Master craftsmen were skilled at making all sorts of brass items, right from utensils and tools to statues and decorations. This skill is slowly dying as demand for these items fade. Like with everything else, craftsmen need to evolve their art so it suits people's design sensibility. But this is a tough nut to crack. The trend today is cleaner, more modern lines. Traditional brass craftsmanship is intricate and detailed, at odds with a truly modern look. Craftsmen have diversified their skills, making popular items like letter and vine bottle boxes with inlaid brass. There is still a market for the truly traditional items as well, like sindoor boxes and diyas. Not surprisingly a lot of our clientele is from Indians living overseas, who want to stay connected with their heritage and want their homes to reflect a part of who they are.
As a community, we should be working towards preserving traditional handicraft methods. It would be a shame to hav skills that have been handed down for centuries die because we didn't care enough.
Featured in the picture on top is a set of antique brass utensils and wooden boxes with brass sheets. The picture below has replicas of sindoor boxes and combs from a bygone era.