Dhokra casting of the “Situlias” is another example of Odisha''s metal ware. Dhokra is an alloy of brass, nickel and zinc which emanates antique look. (The wide product range on Dhokra with their antique look goes well with interior decor).
The process of Dhokra casting can be divided into two categories: (i) the hollow method (lost wax, cire-purdue) and (ii) the dense method. In the hollow method, a clay replica is prepared slightly smaller than the object to be cast. This is the clay core. Once this is burn dry, hand-rolled threads of bee''s wax (now of course substituted by petroleum wax) are applied on the clay-core, till clay is totally covered by wax, and upper surface is uniform. The wax layer is generally very thin to reduce consumption of metal (upto 1.5 mm). Wax is occasionally smoothed out with fingers or warm metal-strip. Further modelling is done in the wax-sheath covered with clay paste (made out of clay, dung, paddy husk and jute-pieces and vegetable paste). The pouring channel has to be left in this second sheath. The design of pouring channel varies from place to place, but everywhere it is to be designed in such a way that molten metal flows smoothly and uniformly. The clay is allowed to dry, and a few coatings are repeated. Then molten metal in a clay pot is poured in to the passage, which flows quickly, cuts into the wax (which is drained of through another channel), filling the empty space left in between clay layers. The whole thing is allowed to cool. Then the outer clay layer is removed with a knife and metal image is taken out. The inside core of earthenware may or may not be removed.
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