"An object whose unusual quality makes it a topic of conversation." That's the definition of a 'conversation piece' in the dictionary.
Every home has that one book, artifact, painting or clothing that is the conversation piece and holds a position of great pride in the hearts of those who reside in it.
These pieces are special. Not because at times they might have high monetary value, but it is the story behind them that conjures up emotions. One look at them and you are instantly transported to those memories - the house of your grandparents, your first childhood home or your first workplace.
For us, Dokra has always been that conversation starter.
The sheer magnificence of Dokra can only be experienced once the story of a Dokra item is understood.
'Dokra' gets its name from the Dokra tribe. It is believed an adivasi from the Bastar region discovered the art of metal casting and molding from the Sataru insect, when he found the insect's dengurbhil (a waxy hive created by hollowing out rocks) filled with molten metal.
Dokra is made using either the hollow wax or solid wax technique.
The famous 'Dancing Girl' figurine found in the Mohenjo-daro ruins was made using the hollow wax or lost-wax technique.
The making of Dokra is a fine example of creating something unique and beautiful with care for the environment - all raw materials are natural!
Clay is mixed with rice husks to give the clay added strength. Once the mold is prepared from the mixture, beeswax is applied and wax threads are wound around mold till the entire mold is covered.
Then the magic begins! The artisan adds intricate details to the mold and then cooks the clay mold in a furnace where the wax drains out from the ducts in the mold, molten metal is then poured into the same.
Water is then sprinkled on the mold to cool it and the artisan then breaks the mold and unleashes yet another masterpiece.
Now you know why Dokra has been a conversation piece for over 4,000 years!