NayimWood Sculptor

Inimitable craft of
wood carved sofas

Traces of the intricate skill of wood carving have been brought to Delhi by artisans who specialise in producing hand-carved wooden furniture. We interviewed a master craftsman, Nayim ji, who has been working in the industry for 40 years. Since the time he learnt the skill from his father, Nayim ji has been involved in the family business, constantly exploring new designs to suit the ever-changing needs of customers.

Has the introduction of technology interfered with the demand for his craft? Nayim ji thinks not. What makes hand-carved furniture unique is not only its complex design but also the smallest of details, which can only be achieved by hand. Machines, with their limited outputs and lack of ornate detailing, are unable to imitate such fine craftsmanship and have not been able to displace the craft’s market to a great extent, he said. As such, he continues to follow in the footsteps of his ancestors, carving each piece by hand, and gaining confidence with every new product.

Nayim ji begins by first drawing the design on paper before making the farma by tracing the finalised drawing onto plywood. His team then calculates the approximate quantity of wood required and makes the purchase. Once the raw material arrives in the workshop, Nayim ji cuts and sands the wood to get the desired shape and texture, finishing by polishing the furniture piece. The polishing needs to be carried out carefully and must match the grain of the wood, else it can ruin the texture of the carved piece, explained Nayim ji.

With time, he has come to regard the community of woodcarvers that he works closely with as his family. This community has grown together, through trust, collaboration and an exchange of ideas. As Nayim ji said, “Sometimes when things don’t go as planned, in those times I discuss with my peers and we support each other to solve the issue. I strongly believe that real joy is solving difficult things together!” The craftsmen have also been quick to adapt to changing times and have taken to browsing the internet for inspiration.

Over the years, Nayim ji has developed a strong clientele. He no longer needs to market his products, as new clients come through referrals and, once satisfied with the outcome, continue to return to him with new orders. Nayim ji makes unique pieces based on a client’s requirements. You can visit his workshop the next time you are in Delhi to witness his detailed process and fine work for yourself.


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