Tales carved in Wood

Artist Charuhas Pandit uses wooden sheets as a medium to create 3D wooden pictures

While one creation shows the burning eyes of a tiger laying down in his territory in the woods, the other has a collage of Mumbai's historical landmarks featuring the Gateway of India, Mumbai Metropolitan Region Development Authority (MMRDA) building, Flora Fountain and Rajabai Tower. However, the catch here is that no paint is invoked in any of the 150 pictures, currently displayed at Srijan Art Gallery, Narayan Peth. Infact, it is a 3D work of wooden art by artist Charuhas Pandit, who masters the art of creating a painting-like craft with engraved sheets of wood.

Having been saturated to the core with his work as an illustrator and cartoonist, owner of a city-based advertisement agency, Charuhas struck upon the idea when he was strolling through an industrial exhibition in 2005. He says that he was fascinated with a demonstration of a wood-engraving laser machine and immediately struck on the idea of making wooden pictures with this technique. His wife was also thrilled at the idea and volunteered to explore this newly-thought-of craft with him. The theme of the pictures on display range from flora and fauna to comic characters, historical landmarks, mythological characters and more. "Even though sketching, cartooning and painting gave me creative satisfaction, I still wanted to do something new to fill the creative vacuum. I did not know how to do it till I saw the laser-engraving machine at an exhibition," says Pandit, who purchased a three feet long Taiwan-made laser engraving machine to pursue the art.

He mentions that he was confident of the idea that had already taken shape in his mind. "I bought some wooden sheets and collected waste furniture to experiment with my new laser machine. After a few trials and errors, I got a hang of the idea and began engraving designs using it. The idea was to make a panting-like art piece with this medium," he says.

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