The ivory wood or ale mara is cut into appropriate pieces.
Ivory wood is a soft light wood, rendering itself to easy working.
The sheared wood piece is fit into the masthead strongly so that the artist can work on it.
The pruning and carving begins, in line with the craftsman’s design plan.
The curves and bevels are a result of keen observation and expertise.
The piece is smoothened with emery and the colouring process begins.
Coloured lac sticks are pressed gently, transferring a uniform coat of colour.
The natural, non-toxic colours dry quickly and are given a shine by a local material.
A few master cuts with the knife to create the impression of designs on the wood piece.
The piece is ready to be released from the lathe.
The final makeover follows with motifs and graphical patterns made on the toy’s body surface.
The beautiful wooden toy is ready to be experienced by the world.
Channapatna, a small town in the southern state of Karnataka is known for its beautiful, vibrant wooden toys, enthralling children and tourists for years. It is popularly known as Gombegala Ooru, literally meaning a ‘Toy-Town’ in Kannada. This 200 year old legacy, believed to have been the art of Persian toymakers is today a fine model of public–private enterprise - leveraging local talent, providing livelihood to many families and putting India on the global craft map. The images project a visual narrative of how a master craftsman transforms a piece of wood to a colourful wooden toy.