Updated: Sep 12
Indian wooden handicrafts have a special place in the handicraft items for home decoration since ages. India is home to some of the finest wood craftsmen and has a rich culture and heritage. A craftsman sits quietly and chisels away a piece of wood with his toolkit, and turns a plain piece of wood into something totally unrecognisable from its original form.
The traditional art form of making wooden handicrafts is one that is passed on from one generation to another, and it has a rich cultural significance. Indian wooden handicrafts are not only famous in the country but have a widely reputed foreign market as well. Here’s all you should know about Indian wooden handicrafts.
Each piece of Indian wooden handicraft is unique
Since wooden handicrafts are made by hand – it goes unsaid that each and every piece is unique. The prices of Indian wooden handicrafts are high for the same reason. Just like any other handmade items, the wooden handicrafts take a lot of time and dedication to be completed and thus is highly extrinsic in its art value.
Indian wooden handicrafts are rich in cultural heritage
Indian wooden handicrafts are made only by a few artisan families, and are limited in number. Thus, they have a rich cultural heritage attached with them which is second to none. For example: The Channapatna town in the Ramanagara district of Karnataka is home to colourful wooden toys and is renowned as India’s toys town.
There are many families in the town whose main occupation and source of income comes from making these colourful wooden handicrafts which are sold across the length and breadth of India. These wooden toys have gained lots of popularity in the global handicrafts markets as well, and thus they come with a special GI tag i.e. Geographical Indication tag which recognizes the town and the culture that comes down with it.
Indian wooden handicrafts majorly use organic ways of production and polishing
Unlike machine made wooden toys, the wooden handicrafts are made by using organic ways. For example: The wooden toys made at the Channapatna town use vegetable dyes and plant based dyes for colouring – which make it safe for children’s use. Similarly, the Nagina Woodworks of Uttar Pradesh are famous for their wooden handicrafts which have won the hearts of many foreign markets too for using organic colours in painting the artifacts.
These Nagina Woodworks are made by using Mango, Mahogany and Sheesham wood with fine polishing that avoids any breakage or splitting of wood.
Indian handicrafts are a result of rich heritage that is passed on from hundreds of years
Not everyone can pick up the skills that are needed to produce a finely chiselled wooden handicraft. As the craftsmen explain – the skills of making these colourful beautiful aesthetic wooden handicrafts runs in their blood, by which they mean it has been passed on to them from their old ancestors.
For example: The Kondapalli toys from Andhra Pradesh are a result of 400 years of crafting. The craftsmen are popularly called as Aryakhastriyas and their wooden handicrafts generally depict the rural life, nature, and some Indian mythological characters. They use soft wood from the Kondapalli Hills which gives a great finished look to the handicrafts. These beautiful wooden pieces have found a special place in the Indian handicraft items for home decoration.