Meenakari is a craft where a metal surface is coloured by fusing attractive enamel colours. It is enamel work on metal and very popular in Rajasthan. This craft flourished in Persia and was brought to India by the Mughals. Mina refers to the blue skies in Persian.
You have to look at the reverse side of a Polki necklace to see the beauty of Meenakari work done there. You are likely to mistake that the Polki diamond is on the reverse side because the vibrant colours and designs in Meena work is stunning. It was also known as reversible jewellery. Raja Mansingh of Amer introduced this jewellery craft in Rajasthan.
Jewellery & home decor objects made with metal are decorated with Meenakari work.
Meena or Mina is the colouring of the surface by mixing brilliant colours of enamel. Powdered glass is fused together by firing, usually between 750 and 850 degrees Celsius. The molten powdered glass (enamel) is coated on the metal.
The designer traces and engraves the the design on the metal. The enamel is then applied on to it as per the design. It is an intricate craft. It is best does on gold metal.
Jewellery, Jewellery boxes, vases, trays and idols are done with Meenakari work.
There are 3 forms of Minakari.
Gulabi Mina uses a dominant pink colour, Panchrangi Mina uses 5 colours-Blue, green white, red and pink and ek rang Mina uses a single colour. Varanasi has a lot of Gulabi Minakari work.