IntroductionMysore is know to be cultural capital of Karnataka, it was ruled by Wodeyars until it got merged with Republic of India.
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How it started ?
Under Wodeyars the rosewood inlay work grew and got patronized, the early records says this art is as old as 400 years and was initially patronized under Vijayanagara Kings after their downfall, it was Wodeyars who started patronizing this work.
Every household in Karnataka, will atleast possess one of this artifacts either gifted by someone or purchased.
Patrons for this artHis Highness Krishna Raja Wodeyar, H. H. Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar were the initial patrons of this art work, Mysore Palace is decorated with this art form.
Sir. M Visveswaraya, through current Cauvery Emporium, exported this unique art form across the globe.
Wood/Other material usedPredominatly Rosewood, is used in inlay work, along with Mango, Jackfruit, Doodhi, Champa, Rubber, etc., White wood articles are mainly made out of either Shivani or Kadam wood.
Artisans InvolvedLocal artists who have settled down in Mysore, or involved in making this art. This art has been passed on over generations, it is fun to see sometimes the whole family involved in making one piece of art and strongly demonstrating the team effort.
Unfortunately, due to urbanization, younger generation are moving out to other professions and this art work needs a revival.
How do they do it ?Use of alternative wood/inlay material does not imply reduced craftsmanship or effort. The craftsman still has to spend hundreds of man hours to produce one good piece of inlay work. The work starts with a detailed sketch of the product having the dimensions and scale. The artisan cuts the relief from various coloured woods with utmost attention to detail. Then he works on the surface and cuts grooves on it to fit the spliced pieces of wood. For ivory inlay, small incisions are made on the surface as per the design. The spliced wood is then fitted on the surface, nailed together, pressed in mechanical presses, and finally polished several times with some final touches.
The beauty of Mysore inlay work is in the extent of detailing and intricacy of patterns. Typical articles made with inlay work are furniture, boxes, pen-stands, bowls, panels and wall hangings.
Our efforts to preserve this artWe, at artsofmysore.com are committed to patronize this art, gather as much information about the art, revive old designs, mechanize where ever possible and assist the artist in promoting their work via digital medium to the rest of the world.
Since inception, we have met and tried to explain our efforts in taking this art into further generations. Response from the artist community is good, as we are promoting their work and giving publicity.
What it means if you buy ?In most cases, we buy upfront from artist by paying them full cash and settle any dues in short time. Thereby, we are ensuring what we are selling is a fully purchased item and not at credit. Doing so, we can encourage artist to give their best, without worrying about payment.
Also, every artwork, is carefully documented and photographed for future reference as well.
So if you buy, you are directly helping the artist to make the next master piece.