Wood inlay work had its own place among other art works during the rule of Maharajas. But now, in the age of globalisation, this art is losing its importance. The government should help preserve and promote this art by encouraging the artisans and providing them with facilities.

This was the request made by wood inlay artist S. Ashok Kumar of Arun Fine Arts on MK Street in Mandi Mohalla. Ashok has created a 12’x8’ wood inlay of Lord Venkateshwara along with 10 assistants over a span of seven-and-half months.

Displaying this to press persons recently, he said, no chemical or artificial colours have been used in creating the crown, jewellery or garland, giving them a natural look. The colours used have been prepared by cutting wood, drying them and extracting their colour. Rose wood, turmeric, jackfruit, divine jasmine among others have been used for this work. Different parts of the idol have been created using seven slabs of a rose wood tree and then fixed on a 11/4 inch thick rose wood slab.

In 1999, Ashok joined this company which was started by his father Srikanta in 1969. He also exports his art work, mainly to UK and Ireland. Anand Prasad of Bhavya Cement, Hyderabad, gave order for this work after he was impressed with the inlay work in the Mysore Palace. The work was completed at a cost of Rs. 4.50 lakh.

On the occasion, Ashok felicitated timber merchant Shantilal Jain, Mukthar Ahamed, Manjunath, Tanveer, Ijaz, Kumar, Wasim Sheik, Mahadev, Arun and Wasim Sharif, who had helped him with the work.

Youth not showing interest

Speaking on the occasion, State Handicraft Artisans Association Secretary N. Kumar said, artisans are not getting proper value for their work. Although Cauvery Emporium in city is facilitating making of handicraft, this is not meeting the expectation. Hence, youngsters are not showing much interest in taking up this as a profession. Karnataka State Handicraft Development Corporation must take up welfare schemes and help improve the situation, he added.

Courtesy : Star Of Mysore