Nilesh Kadu has been a Tambat craftsman for the last 15 to 16 years. The reticent and modest 40 year old craftsman has an eye for detail and perfection and a good sense for finishing. He knows copper as a metal- up-close and personal.
He is skilled at cutting, embossing and finishing- skill sets that are traditionally considered 'non-essential' in the Tambat craft community where mathaarkaam, or beaten work, is at the top of the pyramid of skills. But these skill sets are essential in creating world-class handcrafted wares as people have become more discerning about the quality and finesse of the products they buy.
Nilesh is happy about making Coppre wares as he gets to know more people and people get to know of him. Most importantly he benefits a great deal from learning new techniques that enhance his skills, such as lacquering, he says.
When asked about the future unfolding for Tambat craft, Nilesh says the craft has a 'bright future'. He feels that the next generation of Tambat craftsmen like the craft, but are not keen on working with their hands. They only fancy upmarket products which accrue a good remuneration. Nilesh's insight can be considered as a cue to encourage the younger generation to take on their ancestral vocation for not only Tambat craft but many others as well.
Nilesh says he loves his work and would like to eventually have his own workshop and make a name for himself. As for his work with Coppre, he has already made his mark. And even though he doesn't do the mathaarkaam or 'beaten work' on each of the Coppre wares, his indelible impressions of cut and finish are on each its wares.