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Tarakashi: A beautiful art to explore

Eastern Odisha is home to the old traditional art of tarakashi, particularly in Cuttack and the neighboring districts

Dimple Arora reports on the old traditional art of tarakashi.

Tarakashi is an ancient traditional art form native to eastern Odisha, especially in Cuttack and its surrounding areas. This jewelry is made by stretching silver into thin wires, which are interwoven together, finely designed, and molded into beautiful delicate ornaments.

Essentially, the name “tarakashi” originates from the Japanese words “tara” meaning “thin” and “kashi” meaning “metal leaf.” Another name for the art is “Filigree.”  

The artist worked diligently and with patience to produce this lovely piece of artwork. On the eastern coasts of Odisha, modest, regional artisans created this more than 500-year-old masterpiece. Lacquerware, pottery, and furniture, among other items, are decorated with designs to provide a lovely and distinctive ornamental effect.

 Currently, Cuttack, where the artwork is valued, is home to the silver filigree artisans. Ancient craft has diminished in importance in the eyes of the younger generation in the contemporary day, but traditional artisans are still making a valiant effort to preserve its originality.

 The patterns frequently draw their inspiration from nature and include themes like flowers, birds, and landscapes. A thin layer of lacquer is frequently applied to the metal sheets used in tarakashi to increase their toughness and gloss. 

To master their profession, tarakashi artists often spend years in training. They must not only be talented artists but also be well-versed in metalworking processes and the characteristics of various metals.

While the craft has evolved over the years, with new materials and designs being introduced, the core principles and techniques of tarakashi remain unchanged. As such, it continues to be a beloved and important part of our heritage.

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