Silver sheet is the basic raw material for meenakari art. Initially the silver sheet is cut according to the required size. The molding and casting is done by melting silver waste to make an impression tool for the peacock’s body and pedestal. Then the sheet is placed between the metal mold and impression tool to get a desired shape by hammering and then the embossed sheet is exposed to the heat to make it soft. Again the reheated sheet is hammered to get a better shape. Using metal sheet cutter the unwanted area is removed and the two parts of the peacock’s body are fused together by binding a preheated thin silver wire. The small pieces of silver sheet are dipped in water-soluble flux and then placed on the craft to join the two parts by firing through hand gas burner. Filing the top edges of the craft for the neat finish. Then the clawed feet of the peacock are attached by making a small hole on the body. The feathers of the peacock are embossed by hammering the impression tool on silver sheet and joined to the peacock’s body. Whereas the silver pedestal for the craft is embossed and joined in the similar method.
The enamel for the craft is done by powdering the glass (which is available in the local market of Varanasi) using mortar and pestle. Mixing the powdered glass with liquid made of pomegranate seeds and water to give a shining surface. Then the meenakar (one who does colouring) starts decorating the craft by applying attractive colours. The head, neck and chest parts of the peacock are painted with royal blue colour and the feathers are enameled with the combination of blue and green. Different colour glasses are used for different colours. The enameled craft is heated in the furnace where the colors fuse and harden to become one with the surface for long lasting glossy surface. The heat of the furnace is set between 750 to 850º C. The kundhan stones are added to embellish the artwork. It is important to confirm that the hardest colour is used first and fired. Then the metal is cooled to start with the detailing. The preheated craft is painted with the unique colour combination of pink on white, which is again heated in the furnace. Finally the enameled body, clawed feet and the feathers are joined together.