Wood is one of the natural resources found essentially on earth . Wood is used by the human beings for various purposes like fuel, as a construction material, as tools,as weapons, furniture, packaging, artworks and in paper production. The trunk is cut into logs, then logs to planks, blocks and further processed to desired objects. Wood holds many properties like thermal, acoustic, electrical, mechanical, aesthetic, working, etc.; which becomes a beneficial aspect for the implementation of wood in our daily lives directly or indirectly. Wood is also used as a material or substance in many activities. From a match stick to a wooden house there are many objects made out of wood such as musical instruments, sports equipments, houses, architectural interiors, toys, school supplies (books, pencil, rubber, etc.) and many more. A human life depends on wood right from cradle to grave yard. Vehicle invention and discovery was initially made out of wood. The first wheel was made up of wood, later to a bullock cart and in waterways first as a raft with a group of logs later to building boats with planks. Earlier before the liquefied petroleum gas was introduced, people use to burn wooden branches and logs in production of heat and fire for their daily habitat.
Wood has played a vital role in the field of art from being around the painting like a frame, brushes, pallet, pencil, easel to being a piece of art itself. Wooden craftsmen all over the world are knowledgeable, skill full about the intimacy, form and style of the wooden aspects. There are traditional wooden carvers who involve only in carving deities and traditional objects. On the other hand the unconventional artists explore the material wood and carve.
Cherpu, a small village 10 kms away from the town Thrissur in Kerala is one of the production place of the wooden handicrafts and furniture. Wooden elephants are one of the popular handicrafts made there. In Thrissur there are many ceremonial processions were elephants play a very significant role. Elephants are featured in traditional and religious practices. They are symbol of prosperity and joy. Elephants are decorated with ornaments and beautified with paintings on them. People aspired to have elephants in their homes. Thus, many people who couldn’t afford to look after the animal brought a miniature of the elephant made of wood and kept them at home showcasing the fortune and happiness. The production of the wooden elephants started quite before the Independence. Two Carpenter families came together to carve out the lovely elephants, signifying the connectedness of human beings with elephants. As per the demand for wooden elephants grew the carpenters family group grew and established a Cherpu Carpenters Co-operative Society in 1939. The industry saw enormous amount of manufacturing of wooden elephants with orders being placed from all around the world in early eighties. In the present situation the industry is facing a low light and is terrified of the art becoming extent. Thus a training center is organized were the artisans are trained mandatory for a year. Later they are offered for the job in making these beautiful elephants for the daily wages.