The Original Craft of the Ironsmiths

The traditional wares made by iron smiths of Rajasthan

Dastkari Haat Samiti

Dastkari Haat Samiti

Metal Craft: Artisan family with their cart (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The Gadiya Lohars are a community of itinerant blacksmiths of North India. They trace their origins to Rajasthan, and can be easily recognised by their decorated carts (gadi) that serve as both home and a mode of transport. The craft of traditional blacksmiths catered to local needs, producing cooking utensils, agricultural tools and other functional articles for village life.

Metal Craft: New markets (2014)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Even today, there continues to be a market for handcrafted iron cooking dishes, such as kadais and tavas, and commonly used tools like spades and sickles, among other things.

Metal Craft: Metal artisans at work (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Traditional products made by the Gadhiya Lohar community

Metal Craft: Metal artisans at work (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The craftsman cuts out the product from a sheet of iron, which was purchased from the market.

Metal Craft: In the blacksmith's workshop (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The raw material, iron, is bought from the market. The iron sometimes has to be heated to remove impurities if it is not in the form of sheets.

Metal Craft: Metal artisans at work (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The hot iron is held with tongs (chutki), and beaten on an anvil (kundal) with a hammer to give it the desired shape.

Metal Craft: Metal artisans at work (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Metal Craft: Metal artisans at work (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The artisans work together in the family workshop.

Metal Craft: Metal artisans at work (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Metal Craft: Metal artisan at work (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

A piece of iron is heated on the forge.

Metal Craft: Metal artisans at work (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The forge uses a blower, which is improvised from a bicycle wheel and attached to a fan.

Metal Craft: Metal artisan at work (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The artisan hammers a heated piece of iron to the desired shape.

Metal Craft: Metal artisans at work (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

An artisan hammers the heated piece of iron as the other artisan holds the piece steady.

Metal Craft: Metal artisan at work (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

An artisan creates a dish handle from a strip of iron.

Metal Craft: Metal artisan at work (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Fashioning a dish handle from a strip of iron.

Metal Craft: Metal artisan at work (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

The artisan concentrates as he works on creating a dish handle.

Metal Craft: Metal artisan at work (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

A piece of iron is heated till it is red hot, before it is hammered to the desired shape.

Metal Craft: In the blacksmith's workshop (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Traditional products include household and farm implements that are used in villages.

Metal Craft: The blacksmith's wares (2017-10)Dastkari Haat Samiti

A traditional farm tool made out of iron.

Metal Craft: In the blacksmith's workshop (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Some typical products, like a pair of tweezers, is kept for sale in the local market.

Metal Craft: Metal artisans at work (2017-08)Dastkari Haat Samiti

Read more about metal artisans from Rajasthan here:

- Miniature Metal Craft
- Community of Gadiya Lohars

Innovations by Gadiya Lohars
Credits: Story

Text: Aloka Hiremath, Jaya Jaitly
Photography: Suleiman Merchant and Charu Verma
Artisans: Hanuman Lohar and Hazari Lal
Ground Facilitator: Charu Verma and Aloka Hiremath
Video: Suleiman Merchant
Curation: Ruchira Verma

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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