Crafting in Uzbekistan

Tashkent school of woodcarving

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Raw materials for production are considered to be almost all kinds of trees growing in Central Asia: sycamore, elm, thallium, juniper, walnut, apricot, dzhida and others
Two types of processing ornament were characterized for the Tashkent school of carvers from the XIX century: a background in which the flat-relief pattern was set off by selecting a background and a triangular-seizure background free way with incised patterns.
Background thread was supposed to be much more difficult and was performed only by professionals, usually for the decoration of the highly artistic things: the cases for a turbans, lauhs, book bindings, multi-faceted high tables. For these products exclusively hardwoods were selected: walnut, elm, sycamore, etc.
Thread should be performed in this way: the pattern was deposited onto the work piece and only after that straight on marked pattern; the ornament was carved by the chisels of different curvature. For printing the pattern, the template was laid onto the blank and it was drawn using powder (Akhty) or with a compass (pargor) and a ruler, different geometric shapes were painted on the treated surface, and then they were combined into a complex pattern. This method was called "pargori" and was widely used by Tashkent masters along with the traditional "baghdadi" and "islimi”.
Up until the 80-ies, the functional purpose of carved wood abruptly went into decline, folk crafts were not welcomed, the carving almost withdrew from the production of furniture. However, even this time Tashkent school continued to grow, finding its expression in the decoration of monumental architecture.
Carving of this period is represented by the wonderful works of such Tashkent masters as S. Khodjayev, S. Gulyamov, O. Faizullaev, H. Kasimov, M. Kasimov, E. Nuraliev, S. Agzamov, N. Ibrahimov. Despite the undoubted its originality, there is general tendency in their creations, that is used to be common for the Tashkent school: ornamental patterns are cut on two or three levels (sophisticated machinery), the background is distinguished by a medium depth, for more expressive the masters use the highlighting of the surface of decoration and coating it with lacquer.
The modern carvers of nowadays remained in their art tradition of old masters and. An example is O. Faizullaev, who has been teaching at Tashkent Art College over 50 years and grew for more than one generation of talented students.
M. Ibrahimova is the only woman in Uzbekistan, who was awarded the honorary title of "People's artist of Uzbekistan" in August 2008.
And a whole constellation of young artists such as H. Adylov, A. Ashirov, Z. Abdurakhmanov, Z. Isamuhamedov, B. Ganiev, J. Gaipov were honored with various awards and titles.
But more important than all the honors and insignia are considered to be the works of masters, which will remain for centuries and will be pride to our descendants, such as the carvings on the area of memory and honor (Tashkent), the decoration of art museum of victims of repression (Tashkent), the decor and furnishings of the building of Oliy Majlis (Tashkent ), Hazrat Imam Mosque (Hastimom), details of the interior of the State Museum of History of Uzbekistan (Tashkent) and much more.