Stories set in wood

After quitting his career, Shency George found his calling in wood art. Now, the veteran creates wonders in wood
Shency George's wood work
Shency George's wood work

For a hardworking person with a creative bent of mind, the end of an inning is just the start of another fulfilling one. And the day when Shency George ended his career in the newspaper industry due to ill health, was the start of another one - a path that he never imagined. He started creating wonders in wood.

And for a novice, who taught himself the nuances of carving out different vessels and other items from wood, Shency’s art is beautiful with a fine finish. “I gave my youth and middle age to the newspaper industry. It was a job that saw me working without a break. I never missed a day in the office and have dragged myself off to work even when sick,” said Shency who is a native of Adoor. 

“But finally a day came when I could no longer keep up. Also, I neared the retirement age. So, I decided to call it quits though my bosses tried to dissuade me,” he added. After resigning, Shency wanted to do something different. “I used to always have that creative itch. I wanted to make things. So I did a lot of research and then zeroed in on wood art,” he said.

Shency took to YouTube channels that taught wood carving. “I was mesmerised by the videos in which a single piece of wood got transformed into beautiful bowls and other objects. The deft way in which the artists used the machines to create beauty was very inspiring,” he said. And that was the start of his new career as an artist and also a businessman.

That was two years ago. Today, Chacko Wood Turnings run by Shency and his wife Suma is slowly gaining patrons. However, they are in search of more exposure, especially outside the state. Another uniqueness of the venture is that all the products are handmade by Shency. “I do all the craving,” he added. According to him, even the equipment used for the carvings was custom-made. “I needed tools of certain specifications and these weren’t readily available in the market. So, I got them made,” he added.

The most common things that Shency makes are tableware like bowls. “I use only teak wood to make these. In the past, people used wood vessels to eat and also serve food because wood tends to absorb poison,” he added. Besides bowls and other tableware, Shency also makes traditional lamps using wood.
“Though these can be used as the traditional lamps, they give a different aesthetic to the room,” he added.

According to Shency, it takes many days to make a product. “I come up with the design and then go out in search of the wood,” said Shency who doesn’t buy wood from the timber yard. “Buying timber from the depot is not viable. This will increase the price of the end product and hence, I will have to depend only on the rich,” he said.

According to him, he procures wood from individuals. “When I come to hear that a person wants to sell a log of teak, I go over and buy it after a bit of bargaining. This is the reason why I can sell the products in the range of Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000. The prices depend on the complexity and the amount of wood used,” said Shency.  

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