This small handmade bronze figurine is from the state of Chhattisgarh in east-central India. I’ve owned it for more than twenty years and it travels with me wherever I go. It depicts a woman grinding spices and her saree and headdress designs would be distinctive to her tribe. The figure is made of bronze using the rather complicated lost wax technique, which is a two-step process of wax casting: solid casting and hollow casting. This metalwork skill goes back thousands of years and is known for the variety of designs that derive from Indian folk culture. The ancient skills of the lost wax method were part of many families of hereditary craftsmen but unfortunately these skills are being lost.