Artistry In Wood

Jan 01, 2012 | Vol 4, Issue 1
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Wood carvings and Sculptures have been significant in the special topography of Kerala from the ancient days. The village Cherppu in Thrissur district of Kerala, has contributed many artisans to the field of traditional carpentry and wooden carving. K R Vijayan, a  65 year old master craftsman is one such person from Cherppu, who is talented in creating a variety of sculptures and carvings in wood.

Wood carvings and Sculptures have been significant in the special topography of Kerala from the ancient days. The village Cherppu in Thrissur district of Kerala, has contributed many artisans to the field of traditional carpentry and wooden carving. K R Vijayan, a  65 year old master craftsman is one such person from Cherppu, who is talented in creating a variety of sculptures and carvings in wood.

Vijayan is from a traditional carpentry family and got trained at the age of 11 from his father Raman.   His father used to tell him about the 400 year old tradition that his family had in carpentry and wood carving. His ancestral home is now converted into a work shop and he lives with his family in an adjacent newly built house.

Following the tradition, he mainly chisels wooden sculptures and carvings for temples and churches. Apart from this, he crafts items like elephants, masks etc that are sold in retail showrooms and also exported. Good quality wood like teak, rosewood etc. are used to carve these craft items and sometimes commonly available fire wood like Rain tree. Vijayan has employed 4-5 assistants for this work. His two sons are also engaged in the same work. According to him a small work like an elephant of about one feet size will take at least 3-4 days and he sells it for Rs.3000/- . Vijayan's major work includes idols of deities for the temples, altar for churches and designer doors for various institutions and worship centers.

Vijayan's expertise and experience was acknowledged by the Government and he has been assigned to train young artisans in wood carving him. Thus he has trained over 30 artisans during the period 1985-90.

Location/access: Vijayan's workshop and home is situated on Chittoormana road at Cherppu. Cherppu is about 11 km from Thrissur town. From Thrissur, get bus going Triprayar, via Chovvur, get down at Cherppu Electricity office stop or Palam(bridge) stop, it is walk able distance.

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