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  • Writer's picturePrerana Maheshwari


A contemporized use of an ancient Metal finish

“Hammertone is often used to hide mistakes in metal, making uneven surfaces appear perfectly flat and smooth. We work with hammertone for the exact opposite reason: We use it to cover up the precision, to make precisely machined parts appear a little more flawed and human.” — Brook & Lyn
An ancient technique used to mould metals into forms by hammering it is known as hammertone.






Utensils crafted by the ‘Thathera’ community (Image Credits: DeKulture)

In India, the ‘Thathera’ community have been practising the art of crafting brass, copper , aluminium and bronze to create utilitarian vessels. This metalwork gained recognition in the mid 19th century but has been practised since the 17th century. Hammering is only one amongst the many techniques and finishes used by the Thathera’s. These vessels are timeless and are still used by almost every Indian household.

A craftsperson's workstation ( Image Credits : Prerana Maheshwari) A craftsperson hammering brass (Image Credits: D’source Design Gallery)

Now, designers have incorporated this finish into a variety of contemporary products by using Hammer paints. Mica used in hammer paints gives the object a slight iridescent look, this effect is widely used on technical apparatus to improve the durability of the paint.

This finish is very visually tactile making it appear unique and creating a sense of curiosity amongst the viewers.

1. Hammertone finish lamp by Elise McMahon ; 2.Hammertone finished metal plant holder by Eric Trine; 3. Powder coating hammertone finish sample by Rich Brilliant Willing

It’s interesting to notice how the texture created by an ancient craft has been given an entirely new perspective. The texture remains the same but the technique, medium and application are unique and contemporary. From wall paint to everyday utility objects, hammertone is now used as a powder coated finish across the globe.

Published on June 14 2021 via Medium


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