Jewelry, Crafts

Meenakari | Vibrant Enamelling Art | [2020 Updated]

Enamelling Meenakari Jewellery | Stone Carving

The beauty of Enamelling Meenakari Work and Stone Carving lies in its versatility, its vibrant & eye-catching colours that attract you like no other. Whether you team it together with your bridal outfit or maybe wear it over a pair of jeans and off-shoulder blouse, this form of jewellery stands out for its scintillating design. In its true magnificence and easy approachbility, it keeps its crown high giving a taste of royalty. The way you style Enamelling Meenakari Art jewellery depends on your personality, but one thing we will guarantee is that however you wear it, you’ll steal the show!

India is known as a land of culture & heritage. A land engrossed with tiny stories where even a stone carries a story behind it, creating an era of civilization. It’s a place of a vivid different form of art and handicraft, each place has its own form of expression, the flow continues from Kashmir’s Pashmina to Kanyakumari’s Stone Carving comprising the East and West. In between these different poles, many fascinating new things are seen and comes to life.

The journey of Banas starts from Rajasthan continuing through different steps to meet Ganga. The flow to succeed in this two passage has seen various culture and era. Rajasthan, a land of kings which beholds a glorious era of Rajput endowed with numerous invincible forts, well build palaces and rich culture. A magnificent desert state flourished and bloomed with full spirit and colors with poetry of forts singing the tales of bravery and vivid culture along with the rhythm of palaces royal life.

All these have been folded in the arms like a king safeguarding its heritage and making a sign of royalty and wellness. The desert coupled all the tradition together of colour and art, giving birth to a form known as “Meenakari”. Enamelling Meenakari is an Indian name that was given to this art for Enameling, a versatile exquisite, art medium.


Going back to History Meenakari – an art form of colouring and ornamenting on a metal surface. Mina, A feminine form of “minoo” in Persian means Heaven. Originated as a Persian art of colouring was accepted widely by Greeks, Chinese, Russian and many more. Everyone has its own set of Individualities about the same.

Raja Man Singh of Amber found the Technique and Bought Persian craftsman from Lahore to Rajasthan back in 16th Century and gave the art a set of Indian Flavor and explicit look, the craft flourished under Mughal patronage. The close alliance of Mugal and Rajputs lead to the flourishing time of Meenakari Art. As time passes by Jaipur became the hub for Enamelling Meenakari and has its own distinctive way of the Champlevé enamelling style, defined by its deep red colour.

Back then Meenakari Work was an expression of Royalty and fierce integrity of the Rajput’s and high-class society, embellished with high-end diamonds, Kundan, and various stones.However, over the course of time, it has been frequently associated with the culturally vibrant state of Rajasthan. This can be credited to Raja Man Singh of Amber, as he was instrumental in establishing skilled artisans whom he brought from Lahore.

Hence, today Jaipur is the hub of Enamelling Meenakari work, and craftsmen from Jaipur are renowned for producing Meenakari work. A wide range of intricate and creative designs on countless jewellery accessories is the outcome. Meenakari gold is primarily done in Jaipur, Benaras and Delhi. Silver enamelling or Meenakari Work is majorly done in Udaipur, Bikaner and Nathdwara whereas glass enamelling is done in Pratapgarh.


Enamelling or Meenakari or Meena Kari or Mina Kari is an art of colouring and ornamenting a metal surface by attaching or fusing pieces of different mineral substances of brilliant colours, over it in dramatic motifs of birds, flowers, leaves, fish, peacocks, parrots, elephants and geometric shapes. Enamelling is considered the most alluring and technical of all metal decorations. In the past enamelling was only done on gold, but presently it’s done other metals like silver, copper etc. There are various kinds of Enamelling Meenakari work depending on whether the enamel is to appear opaque, transparent or translucent.

Enamelling Meenakari Art isn’t just confined to traditional Jewellery but diversifies into more modern products, including bowls, ashtrays, key chains, vases, spoons, figures of deities, small temple stools, photo frames, jewellery boxes and wall pieces.

Each metal has its own qualities- while any colour can be easily applied on gold, silver can only withhold colours such as green, yellow and blue. Gold has been the most used base metal jewellery; however, silver has been most used in accessories and cutlery products, art pieces and jewellery boxes. In fact, with the advent of white metal, a lot of Meenakari embellished boxes are used for dry fruit gift packs during the festive season.


Enamelling Meenakari Jewellery  | Stone Carving | Meenakari Work
Image Credit: Artisan working on Meenakari Art Jewellery

The artisans that produce Meenakari work are called Meenakars, whose craft is hereditary and passed on from one generation to a different. A single piece of Meena work passes through several hands for perfection. The process of Enamelling Meenakari Art involves various artisans with specific functions. The designers or the Nakkash, followed by the ‘Sonar’ who creates the initial design.

Then comes the work of the ‘kalamkari’ or the one who engraves the designs and this is followed by the Meenakari Art or the enamelist. Then the merchandise is polished by the ‘Ghotnawala’ or the polisher and passed to the ‘Kundansaaz’ or the stone setter. Lastly, it goes to the ‘Patua’ or the stringer. Each artisan is an important part of the chain that leads to the end product. Unfortunately, of late, skilled craftsmen have become rare due to which a single artisan has to perform several tasks.

Enamelling Meenakari is practised today in various other places apart from its main hub in Jaipur, and each place has added to its own distinctive variation, technique and style.

The process of making a Enamelling Meenakari Art piece is complex. The metal sheet on which Meenakari work is to be done is first fixed on a bit of lac. The design is further etched onto it. This creates grooves and walls on the metal because of the presence of the lac underneath. It is these grooves that hold colour. The enamel is then poured into the grooves and colours are fired one by one which causes the enamel to melt and spread within the groove. Once the last colour has been fired, the metal is cooled and polished. The walls shine bright and reflect light, while the grooves hold colour.


While Enamelling Meenakari work is employed to adorn a good range of lifestyle products, it’s jewellery that it’s famous for. Jhumkas, neckpieces and bangles with meenakari work are wanted for his or her exquisite design and unique appeal. Enamelling Meenakari Art add combination with Kundan and Polki stones features a regal effect, which is why it’s extensively utilized in bridal jewellery. Meenakari work on the rear of the Kundan and Polki pieces makes the jewellery reversible – so you get two designs for the worth of 1.

There is a spread of Enamelling Meenakari products that one can find within the market. Ranging from jewellery, anklets and brooches to chairs, small temple stools, photo frames, jewellery boxes and key chains, amongst a wide range of other innovative products. Although the base metals traditionally used are gold, copper and silver, these days white metal is also being used, which has made these products more affordable. Each metal has its own qualities- while any colour can be easily applied on gold, silver can only withhold colours such as green, yellow and blue. Gold has been the most used base metal jewellery; however, silver has been most used in accessories and cutlery products, art pieces and jewellery boxes.

The enamel-work on jewellery are of following kinds:

Ek Rang Khula Mina

This method involves the utilization of single colour transparent enamel. The engraved area is crammed with single enamel leaving gold-coloured outlines exposed around figural details.

Panch Rang Mina

This uses enamels of five colours viz. Safed– opaque white, Fakhtai– opaque light blue, Fakhta– a dove, Khula Nila– transparent navy and Khula Sabz– transparent green.

Gulabi Mina

It uses a pink enamel derived from Gulab (rose). Created widely prevalent in the area of Varanasi. The transparent pink enamel is painted on an opaque white background in Gulabi Mina form of Meenakari Art. When one transparent enamel is employed to fill the bottom around an opaque figure, colours of the ground like Lal zamin– transparent red ground, Sabz zamin– transparent green ground, Neel zamin– transparent blue ground are used. This will provide contrast and highlights the subject. The pink enamel is mostly used to paint flowers in the design. Areas aside from flowers are painted using ‘champleve’ style. Thus Gulabi Mina may be a mixed sort of enamelling.

Bandh Mina Khaka

This method involves the use of opaque cartouche/ outline. Transparent colour is surrounded by opaque enamel cartouche.

Stone Carving and Enamelling

Sometimes, Enamelling Meenakari Art Work is combined with Kundans making the articles an amalgamation of stone carving and enamelling that is called as Stone Carving and Enamelling Meenakari Art.

Enamelling Meenakari Jewellery  | Stone Carving | Meenakari Work
Image: Enamelling Meenakari Art Jewellery Box


A truly indigenous jewellery making craft, Enamelling Meenakari Art has been in great demand with various experiments and different forms of the same. So, enchanted with the exquisite craftsmanship of the art, the jewellery piece says a story of its own, keeping an eye of perfection, a piece is well made from the glory that says about its culture.

Changing times have impacted quite a lot in the jewellery making yet the essence of the art has always been kept in the mind to create a piece that symbolizing the originality of the art. Demand has increased with a growing range of consumers, giving an open platform for this art to be explored more and to provide more to the art form. In the era of modernization, this art form has been divided into different parts yet getting sew by a string of one single thing, that is its individuality of tradition.

Numerous different styles have been incorporated in the Stone Carving and Enamelling Meenakari work, giving it a new sense of style but always one thing was constantly being that the culture and tradition of the art aren’t hampered or vanished. Various organizations have joined hands in keeping this art form alive, respecting its integrity of tradition and let the art flourish. A lavish form of art, meenakari art has been appreciated worldwide, by creating numerous different patterns of imitation jewellery & products from the same.

Today, Jaipur continues to be the hub for Enamelling Meenakari work, Stone Carving, jewellery and other artefacts but the notice round the craft and therefore the demand for it have resulted in it being available online as well as all over the country. It is practised today in various other places and each place has added to its own distinctive variation, technique and style. For instance, the Meenakars of Lucknow uses the green and blue enamelling on a silver base. The Gulabi Meena, on the other hand, is the hallmark of Meenakari Art done in Benaras.

Owning an adjunct with Meenakari work thereon speaks volumes about your discerning taste and elegance quotient. So go ahead and pick up a piece today! Shop Now @ HandyCraft.World

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