The raw material for woodcarving in Kashmir is obtained from walnut trees (Doon Kul). Only trees which are older than 300 years are cut for this art. Wood from root or trunk of the tree is used for carvings. Root wood is expensive than trunk wood.
After wood is obtained below steps are carried to get final finished product.
Wood logs are cut into planks in local band saws/wood mill.
Planks are then dried out for 6 months- 1 year. Some carvers dry it for less time and some for more. More time means better quality of wood for carving but as a rule 12% moisture is left in the planks so that it doesn’t crack while carving.
Cut and shaped (randha)
Wood is cut and shaped using hand plains.
Fully dried wood is then cut and things like chairs, tables, decoration items etc are made of it.
Pencil Design (Lyeakhun)
After things have been made, design is drawn on the surface with a pencil. Popular designs are jungle design, flower, lotus, bunches of grapes, chinar shapes etc
It is a process in which as per the design drawn by pencil, wood is ploughed out using two tools. One tool to hit in one hand and other sharp tool on which force is applied in other other hand.
There are 5-6 Dagun hathyar (tools) available. They are called Dagan reethwol, adwetith, sabarhel, partishwol, bodhtroberhe & lokuttroburhe
To is a process to dig surface in designs. Tool called bire is used to go deep in surface, choraswul is used to get dust out of the surface. Other tool called nuyuk is used to go deep in very tiny areas
To make designs beautiful. This is done by 11 tools which includes previous tools and other tools aswell
Designs are then rubbed by sandpaper to make surface clean and smooth
Tool called sumb is to shape bottom of design shaped again if any flaw found after sandpaper
Various tools are used to give shapes to delicate shapes inside of designs. Like dew drops, veins of leaf, lines of flower petals etc. Tools used for this are Chackneyun , Kachkul, Truskyul& Dagulmeer
Polishing is done when carving work is over. This involves using sand paper again and using different type of polishing as per need. Best is Mansion polish. Other varieties used are sipirt/varnish for local use.