The Craft of Tarkashi From The Desert City

A state of brilliantly talented artisans, home to numerous cultural crafts, land of palatial buildings- the vibrant state of Rajasthan has a lot to offer. It has given rise to some of the truly amazing and captivating art- pieces of India. There are innumerable crafts from the State of Rajasthan to cherish, like Blue Pottery, ivory carvings, wood-carving, Pichwai Painting, miniature paintings & Hand Block Printing to name a few. Tarkashi is yet another eye-catching craft which is best suited as souvenirs as well as for home decors.

The delicacy and intricacy of Tarkashi is certainly a show stealer in most of the antique and gift shops of Jaipur. A range of boxes, tables and trays with brass or copper engraving work is visible in the gift stores. This specific type of handcrafted engraving is known as Tarkashi work.

Tarkashi craftsmen skilfully use gleaming metal wires to engrave them in the wood. Wire, also known as ‘Tar’ in Hindi- is used to craft some intricate geometric patterns or floral designs inspired from the Mughal era. Tarkashi artefacts are one of the best gifts one can take back to their hometown.

The word Tarkashi, as you can imagine, is derived from the Hindi term-Taar meaning wire. The extensive method of inlaying fine flattened wire of brass, copper or silver in wood is called Taarkashi. The patterns inlayed are usually geometric forms or florals with inspirations from Mughal arts. Metal inlay is painstaking and requires years of experience to gain perfection. The artisan traces a design from a piece of paper onto a block of wood. He then carves deep, thin grooves along the traced lines.

The artisans of Taarkashi laboriously inlay brass in wood with utmost perfection and detailings. Besides experiencing the royalty on your Tarkashi tables, this craft can also be used to create boxes for protecting your precious jewels elegantly. These hand-crafted Tarkashi boxes are meant to add amazing character to your valuable collections.
Under the patronage of Sawai Maansingh II, this craft flourished here. His centre of focus was rendering beauty and aesthetics to the pink city.

Fortunately, it still continues to attract both artisans and their patrons to take a tour of the city and settle down here. Apart from building Jantar Mantar and several beautified heritage monuments, Sawai Maansingh II also invited several craftsmen across India to cater to the city’s requirement of beautification and adornment. Amongst these were the artisans of Taarkashi craft too who migrated to the city from Mainpuri, Uttar Pradesh and settled down in the city of royals.

The artisans of Taarkashi have circulated the splendid aura of their craftsmanship in the city through generations.

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