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Copper in Tambat Ali: Design, Craft, and the Transformative Properties of a Material in Pune, India

Boradkar, Prasad; (2022) Copper in Tambat Ali: Design, Craft, and the Transformative Properties of a Material in Pune, India. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

This research is an examination of the materiality of copper in the context of a design and craft community in a place called tambat ali (which in the local language Marathi translates to coppersmith alley) located in the heart of the city of Pune in Western India. For centuries, several generations of coppersmiths (tambats) have been shaping this malleable, sensorial material into a variety of objects for domestic use. Copper (tamba), in an expression of transformational materiality, has in turn, shaped the tambats into who they are as persons. In addition, the materiality of copper has engendered a unique set of skills and techniques, and it has moulded their bodies and gestures. The tambats make a variety of objects that are described as vastu in Marathi, a word that also refers to narratives that arc over the life of the material, the people, and the things themselves. For the past few years, the tambats have been collaborating with architects and industrial designers to create a variety of new copper products that are sold nationally and internationally. While industrial design practice typically tends to focus on form, user needs, or the market, in tambat ali, it starts with an emphasis on the properties of the material. Here, design unfolds in a new social context created by the presence of copper. This thesis, with its focus on materiality, design, and craft, will attempt to show how copper has produced a materially inspired sociability, which has shaped the stories of objects, the nature of place, the practices of design and craft, and the lives of the people of tambat ali.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Copper in Tambat Ali: Design, Craft, and the Transformative Properties of a Material in Pune, India
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2021. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Anthropology
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10146869
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