Lai's 'Nathdwara' collection has been inspired by and utilizes the characteristic meenakari (enamel) craftsmanship of Persian descent enamelers from Nathdwara- a small town in Rajasthan- famous for being the site of the second richest temple in India (Shri Nathji temple) and for the very collectable pichwais (cloth paintings).
These enamelers have been doing this work for generations and their expertise is not just in the fine application and art work but also in the production of a very fine type of enamel- that acquires lustre even on application of moderate heat- without complete fusion.
The piece of metal on which the work has to be done is fixed on a lac stick. Delicate designs of flowers, birds and esoteric symbols are etched/carved on it. These leads to formation of groves/depressions that hold the enamel. Each color/enamel is painstakingly applied with a fine brush and then fired to melt the enamel (the powdered glass fuses with metal) resulting in our end product - which is then manually buffed for added shine and finish.
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