Srinagar’s craftsman, Jalaluddin Sheikh carves masterpieces on walnut wood

There is no place where art as a skill cannot find its feet. An instance of the same can be found in 65-year-old Jalaluddin Sheikh from Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar, where he has been carving out masterpieces for the past 46 years. According to a report, he has established a factory at his house where he painstakingly and patiently makes intricate masterpieces that the viewer likes looking at.

Some of his works that stand out include the decoration of the main mosque of Kashmir, including other major mosques, monasteries and shrines of the valley with his mesmerizing calligraphic works, according to the report. (Also read: Artists pay tribute to Ghulam Muhammad Kumhar, last clay tile maker in Kashmir )

“His exquisitely crafted works of art are well-liked not only in the country but also abroad,” it said.

Describing his work, it said that he first looks for the right wood to be used for his work, then cuts it and takes the measurements. He also carries out the process of confirming the wood himself. Then he digs into the canvas and rubs and burns the wood and rubs again. As the colour dissipates, it creates such carvings that the viewer is left looking.

“The special thing about Jalaluddin is that he does calligraphy in Arabic, Urdu as well as Hindi, English, Sanskrit and Punjabi languages,” the report said. His handiwork has been gifted to several dignitaries, including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the British Ambassador. He also introduced Islamic calligraphy on wood, according to the report.

According to Jalaluddin, 40 tools are used to carve a piece of art, including many tools which are not available in the market. Jalaluddin has engraved several Quranic verses on wood.

“But the carving of Surah Al-Nashrah, the last paragraph of the Holy Quran, is considered as one of his great works of art,” the report said. He also worked in Dubai in 2007 where he demonstrated his skills for about 10 years.

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This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.



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