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Humble Origins; Magnificent Treasures Woodwork of Jodhpur ~ लकड़ी का काम

The Wood work of Jodhpur is a very significant craft of Rajasthan, a region famous for Forts, Palaces, Precious Stones, Grand-Jewellery, In-lay work, Marble, Block-printing techniques, Ajrakh and Dabu, Bandhini and Leheriya-Tie and Die, Blue Pottery… Every doorway and humble home, is aesthetically decorated. Form and Colour, informs all life almost in stark defiance to the barren, stretching, desert sands.

There has been, on account of an increased export market, an revival of the grand, traditional furniture. Many Suthar, or members of the carpenter caste, have migrated from nearby villages of the city in craft clusters. Traditionally, the source and place where this craft has had a home, was the district of Barmer. The Meghwal community specialized in carving traditional products for rural use, such as, flour-grinders, infant-cots, camel and bullock carts. These were decorated with carved motifs and small engraved metal elements. In recent times these product are highly sought after, as one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture. The skills have been redeployed to address urban and export demand.  The photographs below are glorious examples of how these products, that graced homes in rural India, have in time journeyed into the homes of those who seek exclusivity. They are carved or painted with motifs, detailed with amazing metal-work and an antique-finish. In addition to traditionally used Brass, White metal and Copper are also being used to great effect. These are embossed with the aid of dies, cut into traditional shapes and various sizes and then placed onto the wooden products to cover them, entirely and revealing the wood beneath through the cutwork or partially. The wood is always, polished or painted in an antique finish and often given a distressed look.  Grandeur and simplicity stand juxtaposed in these collectibles. Simple, humble and magnificent. Indian.

Picture Courtesy CraftsBazaar

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