ISLAMABAD - The centuries old craft of metal ware blended with Eastern and Western touch is now being considered as a dying craft that needs attention.

The craftsmen associated with techniques of making metal ware and decorating them with exquisite patterns and skills seem taking care of the value of this craft at individual level.

The craft was once a source of earning and was taken as a family business by blacksmiths but with the passage of time, changing traditions and demand and supply phenomenon changed priorities of craftsmen which resulted in creation of daily used metal wares in simple forms.

Talking to APP, a local shopkeeper in the federal capital, said, “We make some beautifully carved and intricate patterned metal ware for decorative purposes on a very small scale as only foreigners and art lovers buy them.” While locals mostly buy simply made metal wares of daily use, he said, adding that those making metal wares as a craft through family business are now limited to exhibiting their work for a few customers.

He said the skills of metal craft were transferred from generation to generation by master artisans in the field and the tradition goes back to Mughal Period which hosted the masterly techniques of ornamentation while arts and crafts were encouraged and fostered by the ruling class.

The tools required for these processes include anvil, hammer, chisels, swages, lathe and furnace, while the distinctive techniques of ornamenting metal ware include embossing, engraving, cutting, piercing, repouse, enameling and damascening. Owing to its durable nature, metals are well preserved and survive from pre-historic times. A common practice in Pakistan is the use of metal ware for cooking purpose and storage of grains and water, he said.