A special thanks to our precious colleague from India Himanshu Kanwar, who helped us write this piece.
Our recently concluded 40th anniversary celebrations were truly memorable on many counts. It turned out to be something much more than a grand evening of bonding with our fraternity over good food, wine and music, set against the backdrop of an ancient Villa. It was an event of coming together of cultures from all parts of the planet – each enriching us with their experiences, memories and stories, over the few days we spent together to mark the celebrations. We write down this little story to share how a special gesture touched us.
Our precious partner from India brought a gift especially designed for us. It was not just the gesture or the gift or the acronym coined for Legor that humbled us. It was the story that we learnt, behind the art of making that gift which is indeed remarkable and worthy of sharing. It turns out that the art of fusing metal and stone, through a lost wax casting process, has its roots in the Harappan Civilization around 2500 BC. The discovery of the dancing girl statue from Mohanjo-daro, showed the world, how this form of artifacts from a lost wax process, existed in those times.
The art form is called “Dhokra” and the community of artisans in the tribal parts of India who have preserved this art process are also known by this name. It is the primitive simplicity of the enchanting folk motifs, crafted in this manner, that lends credence to this forceful form. From the thought of choosing the right stone, casting it with brass, in a mold of beeswax, which is covered with layer of clay, intertwined with paths, to allow the metal to flow, is an imaginative and painstaking way of making the sculpture.
The tribal handcraft was present in Eastern parts of India in medieval times and has spread from there. Currently, in the idyllic Western Ghats of India, overlooking the Kundaal river in Panchgani (6 hours away from Mumbai), lies the abode of this art, known as Devrai Art Village. Their humble beginning with a handful of artisans, 12 years ago, have helped preserve this form and take it to an international audience. They keep experimenting and adding new dimensions to this form and also call it as Devrai Rock Dhokra.
We are delighted that a piece of this art now adorns our welcome area. So on your next visit, while you delve into metals and alloys, we also invite you to check out, our rock-solid elephant king motif, called Gajaraj, that is now part of Legor’s legacy.