The name Dhokra is taken from the name of the artisan tribe, Dhokra Damar, who practise the primitive lost-wax metal casting technique. Settled mostly in parts of West Bengal, Odisha and Jharkhand, the tribe has been developing metal objects with this process for over 4,000 years.
The casting requires wax to be applied on a clay core form. The wax is carved and decorated before layers of clay are put over it to form a mold. The clay form is heated and the wax is allowed to melt away through drain ducts. Hot metal is poured inside the clay cast to take the shape of the wax. Once cool, the clay cover is broken to reveal the metal crafted form.
There is great demand for the products in domestic and foreign markets because of their primitive simplicity, appealing folk motifs and bold form.