Experience the step-by-step process our artisans follow as they harvest, cure and hand carve all of the products in our Secret Garden collection of unique home accessories. Many of Mela Artisans Wood products are made from sustainably grown mango wood, a good source of tropical hardwood timber comparable to ash or cherry wood.
Mela Artisans co-founder, Sonali Mehta-Rao meets with Shahnawaz Zuberi, arisan-owner of Amina Enterprises where many of our handcarved wood products are made.
Timber is harvested from the fast-growing mango tree, an eco-friendly alternative to other hardwoods. While most hardwoods require many years to reach maturity, the mango tree can be used for timber relatively quickly. The tree produces harvestable mango fruit for the first 7-10 years of its life, after which it can be cut down and used for timber.
Freshly harvested mango wood.
Workers saw the freshly cut wood into planks, which are then kiln-dried to remove excess moisture and foreign growths like fungus or bug larva. High temperatures also improve the longevity of the wood and avoid future cracking and warping.
Mango wood planks, stacked for curing in a large kiln.
The planks are then sanded smooth and assembled into boxes, trays, frames and other products, in preparation for embellishment.
An artisan assembling wood pieces for our Jasmine decorative box.
Using handheld chisel and hammer, our artisans next embellish the exterior surfaces with floral engravings and lattice cut-out designs. Since this step is completed entirely by hand without the assistance of modern machinery, the artistry and skill of the artisan is paramount.
An artisan hardcarving a floral design onto the lid of our Jasmine decorative box.
The final product is coated with a light whitewash finish for that elegant antiqued look.
You can browse Mela Artisans entire carved wood collection here.