Wood Carving Figurines of BengalShivaji Mitra
Wood carving in India is an age-old practice and has been around since the ancient wood carved temples in Uttar Pradesh. While many wood types are used, the most common one is Sheesham, and soon followed by the wood of deodar, ebony, mango, walnut, and sandalwood. This Artistic & architectural woodwork initially began as a palace & temple craft and evolved to use artefacts over time.
Our country stands to be unique and showcases its uniqueness in all its ways. Intriguing and exciting artwork crafted out of most everyday objects is one thing, with wood art being a remarkable craft. Some fantastic artisans turn a simple log of wood into extraordinary marvels.
Indian Wooden handicrafts are famous across the world for their beauty and durability. The diversity of these products and decorative pieces made from wood is immense. From carved figurines, accessories to decorative elements, the possibilities are endless.
Wooden Carving of Bengal
Although the practice of extracting beauty out of wood is widely found throughout the Indian subcontinent, Bengal stands out in its richness of quality and history with this artwork. The art of carving wood and turning it into beautiful objects and sculptures is a centuries-old practice. Furniture, jewellery, painting, toys, vases, idols of deities, terracotta objects, and baskets are among the many different things retrieved from the carved wood. The diversity of the wood used is very well reflected in the objects carved out.
Carved wooden figurines are seen across many domestic temples. Among these, the carved figures of folk gods and goddesses are generously found and appreciated. On the other hand, sculptures carved in the classical tradition carry a significant but straightforward folk style. The figures are painted in the symbolic colours of primarily red and yellow, and the images are carved in neem or bel wood.
Woodcraft originally began in the Natungram area of the Bardhaman district. The people of this district have mastered this art through the generations for both leisure and livelihood. These woodcrafters are popularly known as “Sutradhars”, which translates to “storytellers” in the native language. These craftspeople of Kalna in the Burdwan district of Bengal traditionally make huge platters and bowls in many exciting shapes hewn out of a large block of Mango wood. In a few villages in the Howrah and 24 Parganas districts, Hindu and Muslim wood-carvers specialize in fine carving; they make delicately carved wooden panels and other decorative furniture in teak sisam mahogany. The semi-tribal group of karangas from the Susunia Hapania forest area of Bankura district make wood-turned items.
Another very sought-after product is the wooden dolls resembling deities, royal couples, brides, animals etc. However, one that remains the most popular of all is the wooden owl founded as a figure to praise Goddess Lakshmi.
Wood is a material that is malleable and withholds plenty of character and grace. It reflects the owners taste of class. Wooden craft is elegant, classy and timeless. Some of these fantastic wooden craft items can last you for years and is valued greatly in the household.
Wood brings endless possibilities from home décor to utility goods; its utility factor is diverse and phenomenal. It is also quite simple to maintain and is readily available to procure.
Wood, the most versatile material known to man, can be transformed into any shape or form – robust doors to delicate miniatures. Shop to find shelves, decorative picture frames and other utility products that add delight to your home. While we see many new synthetic products on the increase, wood artisans remain honing their creativity and churn out these exquisite products that strive to delight the art-loving community.