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Lifestyle Books and Art 09 Jun 2019 Etching masterpiece ...

Etching masterpiece out of Jackfruit tree root

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | RESHMA BABU
Published Jun 9, 2019, 1:44 am IST
Updated Jun 9, 2019, 1:44 am IST
Benoj Pathrose’s root carving features underwater life that is creating waves
“While carving one should master the art of drawing in detail with utmost care,” says Benoj.
 “While carving one should master the art of drawing in detail with utmost care,” says Benoj.


It took Benoj Pathrose almost one and a half years to turn an enormous root of wild jackfruit tree into a beautifully sculpted masterpiece, which showcases underwater life. Benoj, a resident of Vadathala, dedicated his heart and soul into passionately carving this art work out of wood. Born in a family of carpenters, he has been carving wood and taking work orders for the past 15 years. “While carving one should master the art of drawing in detail with utmost care,” says Benoj.

Even though root carvings are very common, this work is special because of the size of the root from which it was created. “Though the root weighed almost 350 kg, I made sure that no piece was cut off from it,” he says. Benoj put together this unique piece of art for Rajan Frederic, a native of Kottayam, who had a clear idea of how the root should be carved. And Benoj gave it life. He carved turtles, stingrays, starfish, arowana, squid, penguins and many such aquatic creatures out of the root. What stands out among them is a mermaid, to whose locks a school of fish swims.

 

Benoj believes in perfection and says, “I made sure that there is balance in this work and when you see it, you can understand the amount of detailing I’ve put into it.” The play of shadows and lights at night reflects the finesse of the work. The finished work has been polished as the colour of the wood becomes darker as it ages. “Usually, animals and birds are carved on roots. But this one stands out from the rest of the wood carvings I have done,” he adds.

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