Origin: Bihar embraces rich cultural history and since centuries this state has been the centre of attraction courtesy its beautiful handicrafts. Wood Inlay is one of the most famous handicrafts of Bihar. This art form originally started at the time of Mauryas and flourished under the emperorship of king Ashok, all his temples, throne, gates etc. were made out of wood. Since ancient times, the crafters from this state have created masterpieces out of wood. This handicraft has resulted in beautiful decorative pieces, wall hangings, table tops, trays, and a number of utility articles used for daily household needs. This basically includes manufacturing of wooden items and furniture.
Present Day: Bihar is one of the few places where this ancient art is still practiced. This craft is visible in all plaques, table tops, pens and paper cutters. Pipal tree, symbolic of Buddha’s enlightenment is a common motif. Other motifs are birds, peacock, fish, etc. Artisans are marrying traditional and innovative ways to keep this art form alive. ‘Nakkashi work’ a form of engraving where floral and figures etched out by artist is very popular. Patna (the capital of Bihar) is known for wooden toy making. Another city of Bihar, titled Danapur which is also very famous for wooden crafts.
Wood Inlay is basically adding contrasting touch to wooden object. It is basically the art of adding pieces of contrast. This includes adding straight lines, then circular or oval and then advancing to different patterns. Wood carving is one of the most famous form of art and craft since the Mauryan times. This art form has been preserved since then and the tradition is kept alive by transferring it from one generation to another. The best examples of Wood Carving and inlays are wall plaques, table tops, boxes, pens and paper cutters, Household items being made from wood and inlaid with diverse materials ranging from metal, ivory, stag horn to chips of different wood.
Procedure: The actual inlay work involves that the design is routed out in a matrix of one material and a piece of contrasting material. It is fitted into the depression. Wood carving products are made using different parts of the tree like root, trunk and the branches. The products are made by selecting the wood after studying the wood grains. Once the design and the figure is selected, the log of the wood is elected as per the product. Then the process of carving is initiated by using different types of tools like knives, gouges and saw etc. The last step of this process is polishing and adding finishing touches to the product.
This rich tradition of wood work from Bihar has huge demands in Indian and international markets. Wood carved products have huge demand overseas and are exported in different parts of the world like USA, U.K, Germany, France, Italy, UAE, Canada etc. by Craffi The Karigar. These handicrafts have contributed in a big way to Indian economy and this also helps in preserving Indian culture and heritage.
Bring Home Wood Carved Crafts: Mostly the price is dependent on the craftsmanship and detailed carving. You can find these wood carved and inlaid products at different local markets across Bihar