Tradition of Indian Wood Carvings
The art of creating designs in wood by hands using cutting tool is recognized as wood carving. The basic tools used are carving knife, coping saw, V-tool, veneer, gouge, and many more. Wood carvings vary from traditional motifs and floral to geometrical or even abstract patterns. These also vary with cultures. This has been practiced since the earliest civilization by humans. Various techniques of carving are used like chip carving, relief carving, and many more.
Wood chip is carving otherwise known as spoon carving involves chipping and cutting a piece of wood till some design appears. This type of carving mostly features geometric patterns, furniture and also dishes. It is not a complicated process although mastering it might take some time and would involve patience. Similarly, wood relief carving has been experiencing since prehistoric times. In this type of carving objects or figures are carved into a flat piece of wood. The process in this type of carving involves removing of wood so that the carved object emerges to grow out of the wood itself.
In India, wood carving is under a renowned history especially in the Punjab region. This traditional art has been passed on through the generations by the master craftsmen. Craftsmen in India are well known for wide range of handicrafts in wood like decorative panels, furniture, wooden screens, spoons, bowls, toys, trays, jewel boxes, vases, book stands, masks, idols, frames, photo frames, beads, chess sets, and many more.
Wood Carving in Different Regions of India
Wood carving has been practiced all across India. Look up into different regions where this art is practiced.
Karnataka: This region of India is concentrated on sandalwood carving. Various sandalwood idols have been carved here. Now sandalwood boxes are also the specialty of this region. Sandalwood is under a distinctive aroma that makes it apart from other types of wood. The boxes created are mostly coated with mythological scenes. These are a major product of Kumta, Sagar, and Mysore.
Assam: This region of India has wide range of forests and also a rich tradition of wood works. The places of worship here include heavy carvings of mythical figures like hangman, garden, half man, and lions with Sinhasan.
Kashmir: This region of India is lined with wood. The ceiling here is done with geometrical patterns and lattice. Here various woods carved items are also produced such as screens, furniture, bowls, and boxes. The Kashmir has abundance of walnut wood. Crafters here decorate wood panels. These panels are used for ceilings and pillars.
Tamil Nadu: This region also has well developed tradition of wood carving. This is mainly used for decorating houses and temples. Wooden Tanjore dolls and Punky wood dolls are famous in this region.
Kerala: This region has richest traditions in woodcarving. One can see carved pillars and beams in the houses. Wood carvers over here do wonders on rosewood and sandalwood.
Shankar: Sankheda in Gujarat is one of the principal centers of wood carving.
As saw above each region in India has its style of carving and structures.
For more information on wood carvings, check out the info available online; these will help you learn to find the woodcraft!
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About author: Rafat Wahba