Wood craft is a skill, that is mastered only by select craftsmen. Andhra Pradesh with its diverse set of artisans, skills, wood resources and other advantages has left its own distinct mark in the world of handicrafts.
The delicate wood works, which are hand-made, is a testimony to the fine mastery of these craftsmen. The concept of the craft is to portray a tree and white birds, in the most possible artistic way. Have you seen such delicately carved birds, made out of white wood, which is quite rare? The whitewood birds set is mostly used for decorative purpose while the raw materials used for preparing the products are soft white wood for birds and teak wood for tree. This is done using basic tools which are generally used for carpentry. Shri Malada Nagaraju, is a well-known artisan and the only person who has been practicing this craft of White Wood Birds in AP. He has been practicing this splendid craft for the past 30 years, which has been passed on from his father Shri. M. Chinna Satyam. The craft is lesser known and there are only few varieties made to cater to the market. Only the artisans, involved in the making of this delightful bird set are aware of the process involved.
The workshop of Nagaraju in the cultural hub of AP, Rajahmundry resembles a dedicated manufacturing process, with both men and women, proving their expertise every day.
The right type of wood is chosen and these are cut into pieces to get the right shape. It is further cut into smaller pieces of minute units, which is used to make these small birds.
The wooden pieces which have been carefully sliced, are further processed with scratching paper to shed any extra wood and bring a smooth finish with a uniform surface and superior look.
This is an elaborate process that requires a lot of effort. The wooden pieces are further measured to be sliced into concentric pieces and the shapes are clearly marked by the skilled artisans.
These are carved with attention to detail, with the process taking few hours and even some days, until the desired shape is obtained.
The wooden pieces are drilled carefully and beads are placed prominently and artistically to resemble bird’s eyes.
The wooden stand used as support is made out of teak wood and varnished, to give a contrasting look from the white wood used specially for making the birds. The birds are then chiseled to get the right look and shape.
Most of these products are sold at Lepakshi Handicrafts’ Emporiums, of Andhra Pradesh Arts & Handicrafts Development Corporation Ltd. The industry provides livelihood to local artisans. Clearly, making these birds is not an easy task and the semi-skilled workforce of this town in Godavari delta region, lend their unique touch to the wonderful whitewood bird pieces and sets made here.