Thanjavur Art Plate, ek traditional metal craft hai from Thanjavur, Tamil Nadu. Iss popular art plate me deities, birds, flowers, etc engrave kiye jate hain. Ye plates metal such as silver, bronze and copper se banaye jate hain.

History

Rajah Serfoli- II ne Thanjavur Art Plate ko introduce kiya tha during the Maratha rule. Thanjavur ke artisans ne Rajah ke suggestion par isse ek gift ki tarah craft kiya tha.

Only the Vishwakarma community crafts these art plates. Iss community me kuchh goldsmith families hain jo generation after generation iss art ko aage badha rahe hain. Also, iss art ko cottage industry declare kiya gaya hai.

Government Museum, Thanjavur me 2011 me ek 20th century plaque ko display kiya gaya tha. Iss plaque me Nataraja, sage Pathanjali aur goddess Sivakami ko carve kiya gaya hai.

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Manufacturing Process

Art plate me three components hote hain. First the base plate, circular plate with with metal relief aur secondary relief.

Firstly, craftsmen brass se base plate banate hain. Ye craftsmen heavy metal craft me specialized hote hain. Next, silver sheets se jewellers reliefs banate hain. Lead ke moulds me 3-D images banaye jate hain.

This is followed by diamond setting experts encrusting the reliefs. Floral aur different designs plate par carve kiya jata hai. Then polish karke plates ready ho jate hain.

These plates are sold only in India and are not exported.

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Thanjavur Kalai: A Special Art

For making these art plates, metalworker, jeweller aur designer ke skills ki zaroorat hai. That is why, aapko ek plate par kayi log kaam karte hue dikh jaayenge. But ab ye art gayab ho raha hai. Kayi generation se chali aa rahi iss kala ko revival aur support ki zaroorat hai.

Thanjavur art plate ko 2007 me GI-tag mila tha. Once used as an epitome of art, ye plates ab dignitaries ko gift ki jati hain. For instance, 1980 me Tamil Nadu ke then-Governor, Sadiq Ali ne British Prince Charles ko Thanjavur Art Plate gift kiya tha. 

Thanjavur Art Plates ki cost unke size par depend karti hai. Around Rs 4000 or more me aap ye plate khareed sakte hain.

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Decline In The Art

Ye cottage industry dhire-dhire decline kar rahi hai despite being GI-tagged. Pehle kuchh 200 families iss industry se jure the. But now only 60 people are active.

Poompuhar, Tamil Nadu Government ka sole authorised handicraft emporium hai. Yahan genuine artefacts milte hain. Artisans ko har month around 6 to 10 lakh ki sale karte the because of this emporium. But because of the pandemic, sales buri tarah se affect hui hain.

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Artisans ko different skills such as geometry, mathematics and drawing master karna padta hai. Kayi older craftsmen ne toh ye skills bina school gaye hi sikhi hai. Iss community ki younger generation achhi job opportunities na hone ke karan dusri cities ja rahe hain. Aise me ye art bahut jald extinct ho jaayega.

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