Orissa News

Silver Filigree

Silver Felligree of a flower from orissaTarakashi or silver filigree is one of the most exquisite renditions of silver craft. Beaten silver is drawn into fine wires and foils which are then fashioned together to create jewelry of infinite beauty. The silver filigree craft of orissa is similar to that done in Indonesia. Possibly this craft has been carried on to Indonesia by the ancient trading communities from Kalinga .It is also possible that the craft existed in Indonesia and was adopted by the traders and brought to Orissa. Whatever be the origin of the craft, it is one of the most beautiful forms of human craftsmanship ever practiced and a befitting expression of the Orissa Craft that has thrived for centuries.

The main centre for silver filigree craft is Cuttack.The process of creating the filigrees is interesting. The ingots are beaten on an anvil and elongated into long wire by passing them through a steel plate with apertures of different wire gauges. Each filigree jewelry piece actually combines several component parts. Two or three wires are wound together after heating and then bent into various shapes to get the patterns. The space within the frame is filled with the main ribs of the pattern, which is usually a creeper or flower, forming itself into small frames of circles, flower petals, and the like. The silver jewelry made in Orissa has twisted silver wire as the base material; the articles have a lacy, trellis-like appearance which gives them a rare charm.

This  craft of Orissa requires delicate workmanship. The products made include ashtrays, boxes, cigarette cases, trays, bowls, spoons, pill boxes, jewelry, buttons and perfume containers in the shape of peaks, parrots, or fish. Silver dishes and decorative pieces are also handcrafted to perfection.