This is not the kind of heavy metal that you could headbang to, but the kind that you show off in your home. The kind that lights up a corner of the room and makes eyes open wide and the kind that needs to be polished often, especially in dust-heavy India. Brass, silver and copper – some of the snazziest metals out there are back with a bang on the décor scene and reclaiming their top-of-the-heap position from steel and chrome that have ruled the roost since the turn of the century. With their pitch of “utility with glam’”and the “clean design” story taking a backseat, the world is ready for a splash of heavy metal now.
This burst of Art-Deco era reminiscent décor complete with brass door hinges to copper or kansa (a copper and tin alloy) decorative serveware, is a growing trend and India with its long history of metal works is lapping it up fast. We are not talking about the de rigueur brass Natraj statue placed in the hallway; we are talking about the artisanal, crafted look of a home that comes from delicate silver tea-lights, hand-painted brass shot glasses and copper trinket boxes and platters.
Metal working has had a long history in India with archaeological finds dating back to copper sheets from 1000 B.C and the bronze Dancing girl statue dating back to 2500 BC. Around the same time, archaeological evidence shows, metal was a very popular decoration in the finer homes of the ancient world. The Greek, Egyptian and the Sumerain cultures all show evidence of metal being used as home decoration, so in a way, we've come full circle!
India's love affair with metal shows up in beautiful hand-crafted techniques like Bidri-ware and Dhokra. With new translations of these traditional crafts, they now grace urban homes in the form of accents. Silver too, which once would have garnered more value at an auction than gold, has made a big comeback in the form of hand-crafted home accents.
And if you thought metal could only light up your living room, consider the revival of metal products in the kitchen. Copper was once widely used in Indian homes as table and serveware before fading away in the face of the more durable and affordable stainless steel. With designers favoring it now, it is back with a bang as beautifully hand-painted plates and bowls and so much more. Copper and brass are also making inroads into your jewelry box with fabulous pieces that are stylish and contemporary.
Shiny, shimmery and bold, hand-crafted metal accents add more color and texture to your living spaces and energize your living spaces. They also ensure that India's traditional metal-crafts find an updated expression and live on.
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