What is Karbala’s "Barnaj" and how it is made?
The holy city of Karbala was distinguished in the past by the handicrafts that its craftsmen made and excelled over the years.
According to The Karbala Civilizational Encyclopedia, issued by Karbala Center for Studies and Research at the Holy Shrine of Imam Hussein “AS”, “The Barnj was a well-known industry in Karbala, which was consisting of mixing lead and copper together. The Barnj was previously imported in the form of Yellow sheets like cardboard, and it has many uses, such as Samawir bowls, cooking plates, and types of trays decorated with inscriptions, pictures, and writing.”
"There are three methods for making Barnj, which are the open mold, closed mold, and lost wax,” the encyclopedia added. It also demonstrated the method of lost wax by saying, "It is the manufacturing of the core or the central part of clay or sand. It is covered with a layer of wax, while its outer frontier is made according to the required shape."
The KCSR’s encyclopedia pointed out that in this method, "a layer of clay is placed over the wax, leaving holes at the top and bottom, and when necessary, wires are placed that exit from the inner core to the outer clay casing to fix the layers in the sand, until it became over-heated, so the wax will be poured from below as molten metal into the void left by the wax. when the mold cools down, it will break the outer clay shell as the desired shape will appear.