Teamwork is at the core of this craft, with the process comprising seven stages: designing and drawing, carpentry, handcutting and shaping of motifs, scooping the exact pattern on the rosewood surface, fixing and inlaying followed by sand papering, polishing, engraving the details and the final finish.
British Gazetters of the Raj era, those marvellously accurate records of the minutiae of Indian life, mention the presence of "thousands of rosewood inlay workers" in Mysore during the 19th Century. With their "wondrous and unparalleled" skills of inlaying finely etched ivory motifs on rosewood surfaces, they literally captured a panorama of India, its festivals, flora and fauna.
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