Metal Engraving


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Craftsmen of the soni or goldsmith community engrave sheets of metal that are used to encase furniture constructed out of teak, haldu, mango and sagwan woods; although only silver was traditionally used , white or yellow metal are now employed due to the relatively lower costs involved. Previously the sheet metal was hand-engraved or ornamented with meenakari; now these days, however, the cut strips of metal sheet are usually embossed with dies and embellished with plastic meenakari. The sheet is then fitted onto the wooden frame of the object and glued on with a synthetic rubber-based adhesive, pressed into position and dried; the ends are nailed as further reinforcement. Most pieces are given an antique finish by treating the metal with a silver or gold polish or acid and staining the wood with potassium. Certain products are made of a combination of both white and yellow metal; these are referred to as the Ganga Jamuna.