In creating metalwork combination of copper, brass and white lead is used today. In the olden days gold and silver were to more added alloys....
Aranmula Metal Mirror of Kerala
Aranmula is a small village near Chengannur in Kerala and is renowned for making a special type of metallic mirrors with bell metal, an alloy of copper and tin. It is believed that a divine visitation inspired a widow of this village to discover a mysterious blend of bronze which could be waxed bright into crystal clear mirror. These mirrors are known as Aranmula Kannadi. Though most commercially available mirrors have a coating of silver or other metal on the rear, this is the only mirror of its type, which reflects from the front. Owning such a mirror which is prohibitively costly, is believed to be A Lifetime Possession? which brings good luck and brings prosperity and keeps evil eyes away.
A technique similar to lost wax method is used to make moulds of these mirrors with the local mud from the field. Once the casting is done, the surface is polished with oil and some metallic powder. The polish may continue for several days to get the required surface. Kannans, the artisans of this unique type of bell-metal are only a handful of familes in the world, who retain till date, this art of getting such reflection from metal.