Metal Craft of Bangladesh

Metal Craft of Bangladesh

The beating process is often preferred for bell metal and cooper, particularly since it is believed to make the object more durable.

Scrap metal of copper and zinc along with brass scraps are put into a clay pot and melted over a coal fire dug in the ground and fanned with bellows to produce a molten liquid. This is poured into an iron plate and left to cool.

The metal is then hammered into sheets or bars. It is repeatedly subjected to further tempering for extra strength, by heating the article red hot, suddenly dipping it in cold water and then hammering it again.

The resultant metal is shaped by placing the hammered sheet on a bed of thick clay mixed with rice husk. The shaping of an object is done by beating with a hammer to the approximate shape.

Traditional food plates (thalis) are beaten into shape, and polished to a smooth surface in this manner.

Brass sheets imported from China, Japan, and Korea are available locally. Narrow strips of these are cut in the required lengths, similar to the strips prepared by a bamboo craftsman for weaving a basket.

Using the principle of a floor mat, the strips are laid across each other and the artisan starts interweaving them.

When the woven size is approximately 8x 8, the artisan starts folding the strips upwards and interlacing the ends, into each other. Sometimes wires are used to secure the strips and maintain the shape but are removed later.

When the top edge (height) of the object is reached the ends are folded downwards, and extra metal cut off.

A belt or upper rim is woven separately. A thin strip of brass is wrapped over with another flat strip. This belt is placed on the upper or top end of the basket, and fitted over the rough folded edges and fastened. This is the final step of the woven basket.

Engraving on metal products made from copper, brass and bell metal is used to decorate and ornament a range of products. In this process the surface decoration is incised or chased in outline on the objects against a frosted background that is either polished metal or a buffed enamel surface.

The artisan colours the surface of the metal with a liquid mixture of black dye which dries easily. The patterns are worked into the metal with a chisel and hammer by cutting lines over the surface. The engravings create a contrast on the black surface to the glinting metal below.

These free hand etchings depict religious symbols, images of national monuments, portraits of famous personalities, idyllic rural landscapes, floral and geometric designs.


Products of repousse work include wall plaques, decorative panels, medallions, plates, bowls, trays, rosewater sprinklers. In this process a flat piece of metal or a rounded part of a vessel is filled with lac and a basic pattern is drawn on to it. The design emerges as the metal is beaten with hammer strokes.


Copper, brass and bell metal objects are made in 23 craft clusters in Bangladesh including Palong (Faridpur), Dariabad, Islampur (Jamalpur), Charabari, Bamil (Tangail), Ramchandrapur (Comilla) Nama-Sankarbati (Chapai Nawabgong), Kalia, Shimulia, Dharai (Dhaka) and Uttaramabaria, Mirsarai (Chittagong). Bronze icons used to be made in Dhaka dakshin (Sylhet) and Canons in Rajnagar (Moulavibazar); but this is now a languishing craft.

Blacksmith clusters, 404 in number, produce a wide range of objects for everyday use; often combining aesthetics and utility in commonly used products that include Korani (coconut scraper) chhorota (betel nut cracker), hamandista (grinder).

NOW available addresses of over 60,000 weavers & craftspeople working in more than 1000 crafts categories across India

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