This is an ancient craft, practiced by "Lohar" community, which means ironsmiths in native language. Most artisans live in the desert region of Kutch. Because of severe drought, this region is not cultivable. Artisans depend on crafts, such as bell-making, for income generation and support the local economy of the region. This is a traditional art passed down from generations where both men and women are equally involved. Due to consecutive droughts over the years, cattle breeders could no longer buy bells on a regular basis and the domestic demand for traditional bell making was on the verge of extinction. Now, with the help of fair trade and mission-based organizations, over 1000 artisans in villages across this region are repositioning this traditional craft for sustainable livelihood. SETU helps provide these disadvantaged artisans with international marketing platform to ensure economic stability and a respectable social standing.
Traditionally used by Indian farmers to identify their livestock, each bell was hand tuned to produce a distinctive chime. Made from recycled metals like iron scrap, artisans manually cut and hammer the metal to hand-shape the bells, then coat them with a clay-cotton dough, containing powdered brass alloy before firing in kilns. Each rustic bell is then hand tuned to reveal a rich, unique sound like no other bell. Most artisans work from their homes on local or homemade furnaces.
SETU has ensured many socio-economic development projects with these artisans such as, projects related to health & safety, sponsoring of work sheds & tools, installation of technically upgraded kilns and so on…
Pl scroll below to check the products made by these artisans.