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About Mughal Jali Work and Wood Carving

The word ‘jali’ meaning net is a term used for latticed screens, usually made of stone with ornate designs created using calligraphy and geometry. Jali work is believed to have been brought to India by the Persians, and is often seen in Mughal architecture such as the Taj Mahal with ornately carved marble structures. This style of carving was then extended to wood carving, when the traditional wood carver was an amalgamation of an artist, a carpenter and a carver. The typical process first requires the wood to be procured and then cut into necessary shapes and sizes. It then undergoes the process of ‘Planeing’ which makes the wood smooth. The designs are then drawn on the wood followed by carving. If there are multiple pieces to be put together, there is a separate process to ensure that happens. If not, the carved piece then moves on to the process of honing and polishing which makes the product ready for sale.

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