Bell Metal Casting of Tamil Nadu

Vandal, a light brown sand is found on the banks of the river Cauvery in Nachiarcoil, a district in Thanjavur. This sand is ideally suited for making moulds., The bell-metal workers of the state have now switched to brass ware due to the growing scarcity of copper. Most of the articles cast are vases in different shapes and colours, tumblers, water containers, festooned spittoons, food cases, bells, candle stands, a great variety of lamps and picnic carriers. A few items like tumblers, food cases and milk containers are molded in bell metal while the rest are in brass. The trademark of Nachiarcoil is the famous jar with a cashew-nut design.

The master craftsmen of Mahabalipuram have made a mark in stone carving by sculpturing idols and statues with the classical technique and precision as elaborated in the silpashastras. The artisans at Tambaram and Nachiarkol have excelled in moulding bronze and copper icons through the lost-wax process which also include items like utensils and lamp shades.