Types of Metal craft of Kerala
An old time industrial craft which has acquired an epitome of perfection in the progression of time is the craft made out of bell-metal. Another metal craft of Kerala that is very popular is the Aranmula metal mirror work which is made of an alloy of copper and tin and resembles the glass mirror in every point of utility.
Bell-metal craft is an old time industrial art. It has involved mainly two kinds of activities. Images or idols of deities made out of copper, bronze and brass are used for consecration in temples and other religious purposes. Some exclusive designs are found in the items like the artistic lamps of bell metal that include Greek lamp or 'Changalavatta', the 'Archana lamp', the 'Arati Dipa' which are admired by the local people as well as the tourists. Other famous bell metal products of Kerala include beautifully carved church bells, cosmetic boxes, ashtrays, fruit bowls, cooking vessels, jewel boxes, pickle jars, flower vase, oil lamps and tabletops. Charakku, made of bell-metal is one of the largest cooking vessels.
Aranmula Metal Mirror Craft
Aranmula kannadi or Aranmula Mirror, composed of a special metal alloy, instead of glass, is the end result of a unique and secret metallurgical tradition. Named after the village Aranmula where this craft originated from, these mirror are artistic wonder preserved through generation of craftsmanship. Aranmula located by the meandering Pampa River, is best known for the spectacular snake-boat races during Onam and the Aranmula Mirror craft. The reflective properties of the Aranmula mirror are astonishing and, in some ways, even better than modern-day glass mirrors.
Brass craft of Kerala
Although, Bell metal is formed as an alloy of Brass, the mental is still used in making different decorative and utility items in Kerala. Brass is used musical instruments like Chenda, Maddalam, Mridanga, Edakka etc. Some parts of the costumes and some accessories required in Kathakali and Theyyam are being manufactured by some craftsmen.
Koftagari crafts of Kerala
Thiruvananthapuram in Kerala is said to be the centre where the 'Koftagari' work is displayed widely in the forms of figures of deities, landscapes, floral designs and beautifully created articles. Trays, cigarette-cases, ash-trays, photo-frames, etc., are the articles usually made. The motifs are gods and goddesses, temple scenes, landscapes, and figure studies. Backwater scenes with boats in the foreground and palm-fringed shores in the background are especially popular with visitors as evocative souvenirs of the land. Thus, the legacy of Kerala in the field of arts and crafts is a rich and varied one.
The metal craft in Kerala has gained its popularity due to the availability of raw materials and the accessibility of proficient craftsmen. The metal crafts of Kerala have a different touch of ethnicity in their creation for the land is the core of cultural affluence. The artistry of the craftsmen of Kerala is the paradigm of the all pervading beauty and creativity in all aspects of life.