April 13, 2010
Wood Carving is an ancient handicraft that has found expression in many artistic monuments in India. This type of craft used to be passed on as a family profession from one generation to the next. But these days craftsmen encourage their children to study professional courses that promise a better future.
“It is with this background, that we started the Amrita Shilpa Kalakshethra in Trivandrum,” states Br. Amarnath, Director of the Center that will provide training in woodcraft to talented youth who have an inherent aptitude in wood carving.
“We are dedicated to the cause of revival of the traditional arts and crafts of India,” he adds. “The objective is to help sustain the glorious cultural heritage of our country.”
A joint undertaking of the Union Government and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, the Center will also attempt to restore and upgrade wood carving skills through scientifically designed courses.
As a first step, the Center has launched a course titled “Advanced Training in Wood Carving and Ornamental Design.” The course falls under the purview of HRD – Training through Established Institutions (TTEI) scheme.
A blend of professional training and exposure to requisite managerial and marketing knowledge, the course will be conducted jointly with the Development Commissioner – Handicrafts, Ministry of Textiles, Government of India.
The craftsmen and artisans will receive training in anatomy, drawing methods and various techniques of wood carving and ornamental design. Training will incorporate modern machinery-based sculpting skills also, that can help improve the craft quality and quantity.
The course will impart skills to craftsmen to deal with buyers and financial institutions.
“One of the main issues faced by craftsmen these days is financial viability,” ruefully states Br. Amarnath. “This can be overcome by improving the quality and production of the crafts pieces and by finding new markets.”
“Those who complete the course can become self reliant artisans and entrepreneurs of the future,” he confidently states.
The duration of the course is 6 months. “Selected candidates will be provided a monthly stipend of Rs. 2000/- and can avail the best infrastructure and expert guidance,” he informs.