Pitwa Kala/ Wrought Iron Art- The Lohars community of Bastar Chhattisgarh specialises in producing iron crafts. Even though the lohar community is making agricultural tools and other iron goods, the blacksmiths of Bastar are unrivalled in their ability to create exquisite lamps and other decorative products.
Pitwa Kala/ Wrought Iron Art are still popular among Bastar's tribal and non-tribal residents. Still, demand is so low that local blacksmiths can't make a livelihood off of them. Thankfully, the traditional ironworks of Bastar found a strong demand in the metropolitan art markets. The truth is that the modern urban market is responsible for the survival of Bastar's traditional iron craft rather than the tribal people who have traditionally used it.
The Lohar families of Bastar claim their ancestors have been engaged in these practices for generations. The locals like to tell themselves that their ancestors would bring iron ore from the neighbouring mountains and melt it with bare hands. They couldn't work for as long since their hands burned so much.
A member of the community, on his way to gather ore one morning, spotted a dog sitting cross-legged nearby. His inspiration for the pilers (Sansi in the local language) stemmed from this. In turn, allowing them to focus on their work afterwards.
For economic reasons, young people from other social groups besides blacksmiths are increasingly drawn to the field. Because of the demand from cities, it is fair to claim that Bastar's traditional style of ironwork has persisted to the present day.
Mostly, scrap or discarded iron pieces, cut them by hand with a chisel and hammer, and heat them with charcoal. Almost all human and animal figures are made from a single piece of sheet metal hammered by hand. Rivets are used to make a joint. No Welding machine, cutting machine, or mould is used to create an artefact, making it an authentic handicraft.
Many designers in recent years have been pushing iron craftsmen to create new items while coaching them to ensure that the design, decoration, and character of the new products developed to meet the unique demands are consistent with past practices.
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