TARAKASI FROM KARIGAR
Products: ‘Tarakasi or Silver Jewelry’
'Tarakasi' or 'Silver Filigree' is one of the most exquisite renditions of silver craft. In Odiya, ‘Tara’ means wire and ‘Kasi’ is design. Beaten silver is drawn into thin fine wires and foils, which are then fashioned together to create show pieces or jewelry of infinite beauty.
It is believed that the silver Filigree work of Tarakasi was introduced in Cuttack, Odisha almost 500 years ago. Historians have found a rare link to this craft all the way back to Indonesia where a similar type of Filigree work is still practiced. This similarity can probably be attributed to the exchange of ideas and cultures, which occurred in ancient times during the extensive maritime activity between Odisha and Southeast Asia. Today, Tarakasi has become more or less synonymous with the small town’s identity, bestowing Cuttack with the moniker of ‘Silver City’. From the earliest civilizations to the ancient times, Filigree is a long-lost form of art. Most striking for its brilliance, delicate detailing and fine craftsmanship, its distinctive process involves a peculiar technique – carving, molding, engraving and polishing.
Presently, one can find brilliant Tarakasi works on Durga pandals and the exquisite jewelry adorned by Odissi dancers.
One of the most fascinating jewelry-making techniques still in use today, Filigree involves twisting thin metal threads into intricate lace-like patterns. The fine wire pieces are then soldered together to create a larger piece, with or without gemstone accents.
In jewelry, it is usually of gold and silver, made with tiny beads or twisted threads, or both in combination, soldered together or to the surface of an object of the same metal and arranged in artistic motifs. It often suggests lace and remains popular in Indian and other Asian metalwork.
The art of Filigree is a delicate process which requires patience and precision. Thin silver wires are twisted, braided or coiled to form shapes such as flowers, which are carefully soldered together. A silver framework holds the lacy Filigree design together. Tiny beads and twisted threads come together to form delicate tracery. The hands of master craftsmen neatly weave spirals, curls and jaals. Once a drop of molten silver, piece by piece, laboriously and patiently, elegant designs take shape.
Filigree is a delicate embellishment in which fine, pliable threads of precious metal are twisted or curled into a design and then soldered onto (or into) the jewelry. These designs can take the shape of gorgeous scroll-work, lacy flourishes, symmetrical Art-Deco style designs, and other fascinating motifs.