Artisan Organization: M. Ayub
The artistry of M. Ayub has been featured in Family magazine.
I was born in 1965, in the valley of Kashmir known for its rich tradition of master craftsmanship in multiple disciplines of handicrafts. The valley of Kashmir abounds in tall sturdy trees like walnut and chinar. It was our family tradition to make decor accents and artistic furniture from walnut wood. I had pursued the craft since I learned it in my boyhood. Over the last decade, militancy in Kashmir had done a tremendous disservice to artisans and we were compelled to open our outlet in New Delhi. However our workshop and old office still function where we craft our designs and furniture.
The walnut wood designs are completely carved with hand without the slightest use of machinery. The wood is obtained from very old and at times dead walnut trees are dumped in shade for dehydration for the incredibly long period of two to three years. No artificial color is ever used on my walnut wood designs. They are rubbed with an agate stone before a wax polish is applied. It is a colossal investment in terms of time and dedication for churning out one finished product of walnut wood.
Our work has been on display in the Dilli Haat open-air handicrafts market, the American Embassy, and Kashmir Emporium in New Delhi. I have never sought awards nor received one.
Today this is a dying craft. Industry in the valley has dwindled due to disturbances. Moreover, the new generation doesn't possess the amount of patience required to craft walnut wood artifacts and elaborate furniture. Very few people are learning this craft now. However, I want it to continue since our previous generation dedicated themselves to excellence in this craft. Keeping the demands of changing times in mind, we npw make German and Italian furniture designs for the European market.
I have a great hope in you and believe working with you will take our labor of love directly to the art admirers in overseas destinations."