The Art of Wood Carving in Bihar
Wooden craft is another such craft that is very popular in Bihar from time immemorial.
Gaya is the main center where this art and craft is hugely in demand. Presently apart from Gaya, the craftsmen for this art are located in Bodh Gaya and Khukhari villages. They mainly sculpt the figures of Lord Buddha and for this are solely dependent on pilgrims and tourists.
This craft is not new to the people but is rather age-old. It first started from the kingdom of Ashoka and is prevalent to date. The process of making this art is tiring and requires a person to be hawk-eyed. Firstly the design is decided by the craftsmen and then a line is drawn on the wood with the help of a V-shaped knife. After this, the wood undergoes cutting and carving.
Once the cutting of the wood is completed, it is chipped and cut the wood as much as possible to create small channels around the design. then the gauge tool is used to cut the wood further and then the bent spoon is used for digging into the wood and prying it upward. After some time the chisel is used to cut and provide detail to the edges of the design. Finally when the carvings start to emerge switch back and forth between the tools until the design is fully brought to life.
A number of wooden handicrafts like toys, idols, wall hangings, and showpieces are made out of this art.
Vivid colors extracted from the minerals and vegetables are used to color these wooden handicrafts. Numerous tools like a Firmer chisel, Hammer, Hand saw, and many more are used to carry out this art.
Gambhar wood is the main raw material that is used for this art and craft. These are usually available in the woods of Siliguri and Assam, from there the woods are brought to the main market of Gaya and purchased by the craftsman for the work. Once the product is fully completed the craftsmen sell it to the retailer in the local market of Bodh Gaya. To date, the dominant market for this art and craft is China, Japan, Nepal, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore, and Europe.