Kansa Metal Work
Kansa is a unique alloy with a high proportion of tin to copper and is used for making utensils for ritual and household use. Copper and tin are heated together for 400 -700 degrees Celsius to form bronze. This molten metal is then made into sheets, which are moulded into desired shapes. Utensils are manually finished by polishing with traditional materials such as sand and tamarind juice. Designs are made by skilfully hammering a series of tiny dents into the heated metal. It has been part of the Indian cultural landscape for thousands of years. Crafted all across India, it has different names in different parts of the country.
Traditionally, the plates, tumblers, or bowls were forged out of lump of kansa on anvils and steel shapers by a team who carry out heating and beating the metal simultaneously. Due to the high labour cost involved in the traditional methods, these utensils are now made by the casting process and finished on the lathe.
Kansa is mentioned in Ayurveda as kitchenware which has great medicinal properties. It is supposed to enhance immunity, is a good conductor of heat, and is known to purify food.