The Heritage
Craft Experience

A half day excursion from purity by car

Rate: 4500 INR | 70 EURO
For a maximum of three people

We travel to Mannar, the heart of Kerala's ancient metal casting craft, famous for its bells.

The birthplace of Mannar's cottage industry is the family. Only a few hundred families are involved in the trade, and secrets, skills, figures & calculations of the lost wax process are passed from one generation to the next…

This is how the last wax process goes: It start with a clay core covered by a layer of soft wax on which the intricate details are delicately sculptured. The wax model is then covered by layers of fine clay.

Drain ducts are left for the wax, which melts away when the clay is baked, thus creating a mould for the metal.

The hot moulten metal is poured in and hardens between the clay core and mould, taking the shape of wax.

The outer layer of clays then chipped of and the sculpture is revealed.

Its placed on the lathe to be hand finished.

The sheer varieties, numbers and sizes of brass and bronze objects created in Mannar is amazing, large cooking vessels, called urlis and brass oil lamps called vilakkus are arranged to be dispatched to shops in Kerala and beyond.

Villakus are common in all South Indian homes, lighting them is a daily practice, a religious ritual assimilated into the pace of everyday.