The Hard Journey of a Metal Artist

Metal Craft is a very tough art which includes different procedures to complete like cutting, edging, heating, tempering, and molding. Metal art course can be done through fine arts colleges. Metal craft is known from ancient times as it is very old craft. Our ancestors have tried everything and we are here to simply modify and give a better presentation. The artist uses different varieties of material to carve the metal and turn out into a unique decorative piece. This amazing and most popular art is seen everywhere around us in the form of antique pieces, wall hangings, lamp shades, utensils and dinner set, worshiping structures and in vast amount it is seen in ornaments. To come up with a variety of products the artisans uses metal craft tools for cutting, punching, scrolling, bending, rolling, twisting, and riveting.

While exploring about this fine art, I came across a 77-year-old metal artist Nalinbhai Bhutta. He was living in Pare (Goregaon), Mumbai. He was awarded a National Merit Certificate for the meenakaari (the art of painting metals) work 2015 under the Commissioner of Education of Handicrafts from the Indian Government Textile Ministry and a reward of Rs 75,000 and his wife Bhartiben too received a second price by a cheque.

Nalinbhai and his wife are efficient metal artists from years ago. Previously in 1970s Nalinbhai was running ballpoint pen factory in Umargam. He was the member of Bhutta family famous in ballpoint pen industry. Nalinbhai started showing his arts in developing variety of pens using his art of meenakari. He used various materials copper, aluminum, silver, and also gold and proved himself a born artist.

On the other hand, Bhartiben completed her Metal Arts Diploma Course near Umargam. The family then shifted to Pare now known as Goregaon in Mumbai. Bhartiben then completed her further studies in Mumbai to give her support and contribution to Nalinbhai’s work. They both had to struggle hard in ballpoint pen work so Bhartiben started forming metal art pieces. Bhartiben makes repose work, enameling, itching and murals by copper enameling work. She used copper and meenakari work on worshiping statues, dinner sets, stationery items, photo frames, Wall hangings and various other art pieces.

Nalinbhai too learned the art of making metal decorative pieces from his wife in few years. He himself takes the copper plate and tempers it and gives the desired shape. Then he heats the product at 800 degree in a furnace filled with wax. This tough work is self made. These products are then kept in an exhibition and sold at various shops. Their hard work was awaiting the reward which they finally got in the year 2015 where Nalinbhai made a copper fruit dish. The art in them finds a way to move beyond. They started drawing different dance forms in metal pieces which was loved by all. Different exhibitions were held in Mumbai World Centre, Hyderabad, Bengaluru, Kerala, and also at London.

Bhartiben says that they both are helping and supporting each other. In real life, this couple is an artist and they are each other’s strength. They achieved such a name and fame through their persistent hard work and dedication. They are a true source of inspiration to many who have passion for metal art.