Budithi brassware is one of the unique metalworks coming out of the Coastal Andhra region (Kosta) of Andhra Pradesh.
The sheen and quality of this craft is apparent at first glance. Used for a variety of purposes, it is a must have for any AP household, and the feature this week in our continuing review of the Handicrafts of Andhra.
This native craft of Kosta originates in a small village called Budithi in Central Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh. The municipality is located 40 km outside the district’s eponymous city.
The history of brass and bronze casting and metal working is an ancient one, particularly in the old Andhra desa. Its use may date back to the era of swords and shields, but its application extended to even gun metal in recent centuries past.
It received a GI (Geographical Indicator) tag, per the related Act in 1999, and is therefore a unique and much prized craft in the international market of decorative metal ware. 
Budithi is known by the beautiful figures are created out of metal alloys. They are crafted in both traditional and modern styles.
These alloys are typically made of brass and feature a variety of geometric and floral patterns. They are simple yet striking. They are used for a variety of purposes from decorative art to flower pots to even prized cooking utensils.
Pots and jugs in particular are famous for their elegantly lean necks. The mouth of jars are also distinctive, and bell metal has also been used to make polished mirrors.
Black and gold rings are the unique features of the product. Locally available, non-toxic black powder is the base for the effect. This produces a beautiful look and finish in the process.
While the traditional process for bronze-casting and brassware manufacturing is fairly standard, what sets Budithi apart is the craftsmanship and specific regional touch. Most notably, locally available natural resources are used to produce a tell-tale black coating.
The beauty of this is unlike modern industrial chemical-based manufacture, the special black powder used for the coating is non-toxic. This is another Unique Selling Point of the product.
Budithi is Kosta’s counterpart to Telangana’s Pembarthi. As a traditional metal craft, it has a standing reputation for splendid brassware. Items such as jars, mirrors, bells, and even utensils have made it an art with wide applicability.
Ostensibly, arts and crafts will have to adapt to the present time and shifting tastes. More modern fashions necessitate the marketing know-how to adapt and properly influence artisans to the meet consumer demand. But with the right business mind and patron, or a community-based effort, Budithi can again make its name in the international marketplace.
Irregular power supply in recent years and difficulty in getting products to market at present have put workers dedicated to this craft in dire straits. They themselves have complained of lack of government support and of distribution channel difficulties.
A familiar tale by now, the younger generation sees no prosperous future in this industry and is sadly leaving the village, along with generations of tradition. Once 400 families maintained this handicraft, but now that number is down to an estimated 30 families.  So start today, and give patronage to these great artisans of your home state.