Tikuli art is a unique art form of Bihar. Which contains a rich and deep traditional history. The word Tikuli is called Bindi in the local language which is usually in the form of a very shiny dot. The woman puts her forehead between the two eyebrows. In the past, Bindi was created as a poetic tool for worshiping the intellect and preserving the modesty of women. Tikuli art originated 800 years ago from Patna. The Mughals also patronized this form of art and greatly appreciated its importance. No art outside Bihar can be counted with Tikuli art. This art is a complex technique that requires a lot of hard work. This is a rare feature of Bihar and no such work is found anywhere else.
The process of constructing Tikuli was very difficult and laborious. Earlier, the glass was melted in the furnace as a balloon. When cooled, it was harvested to the required size with a special tool. Then gold work was pasted on it. After that, with the sharp pencil of the boss, pictures of flowers, leaves, gods and goddesses were scratched and painted with various colors.Then it was coated with acacia glue. In the end, she was rubbed with a soft cloth. Its artists used to manufacture Tikuli in three parts. One artist inflated the glass as a balloon and cut it with a special kind of scissors, another made gold work on it, and the third scratched it with a bamboo pointed pencil and filled them with different colors. Due to this process it took seven to ten days to make one piece of Tikuli.
In the past times, Tikuli were mainly used by queens and aristocrat women. Beautiful hand crafted Tikuli were revered as proud possessions of the women. Now a days, the art of Tikuli making has been fused with Madhubani Paintings to make decorative wall plates, coasters, table mats, wall hanging, trays, pen stands and other utility items. This has increased the facets of this art and the scope of creativity for the artists. The fusion has not only created a new charm to the art but has also imparted an economic value to the produce.
During the last decade a new turning point in Tikuli painting came when hardboards were invented. Tikuli made through Inamal paint on wood was difficult because of its difficulty in transporting. But that problem was overcome when the hardboard arrived.Inspired by Ashok Biswas, Tikuli artists started using hardboards. For the last three-four years, a special type of wood (MDF Board) has also been used indiscriminately in Tikuli painting along with hardboard. The first hardboard or MDF pieces are cut into round, rectangular or square shapes. The enamel is then painted with a brush pasted on it. Each coat of paint is then rubbed with sand paper or water paper.When the board becomes shiny and smooth, the Mithila style painting is done with a brush of 000 sizes. Brushes of 000 sizes are used exclusively in the Tikuli art all over the world. This work is very difficult because to draw the design on the hardboard or MDF, thin lines have to be engraved on one hand. The underline is amazing in this. The conscience of paintings seems to be speaking and looks adorable.
Mithila painting has a clear influence in the paintings of Tikuli art at present. Hence, people often have the illusion that Tikuli painting and Mithila painting are the same. While the main difference between Mithila painting and Tikuli painting is that while Mithila painting is done on paper and cloth, painting in Tikuli painting is done on hardboard MDF.In Tikuli painting, it is heatproof and waterproof due to Inmel being painted. That is, durability is high in it. In Mithila painting the paintings are larger while in Tikuli painting are relatively small. A distinct and obvious difference between the two paintings is that Mithila painting has been confined mainly by the painters to religious subjects, while the Tikuli style depicts the life of the common people along with religion.