Shakuntala Plays with a Deer in the Forest: Large Wooden Statue

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 When the deer wounded by his arrow ran deep into the woods, Raja Dushyant followed his prey, only to stumble upon the mistress of the deer, Shakuntala. Daughter of sage Vishwamitra and the beauteous Apsara (celestial nymph) Menaka, Shakuntala appeared to Dushyant as the most exquisite maiden on earth, comparable only to Sri Lakshmi herself, in virtues and beauty. The character of Shakuntala, her birth, meeting Dushyant, and the tender events that followed have been a favorite theme of Indian art since their first descriptions in the great Hindu epic- Mahabharata. Later, poet-dramatist Kalidasa penned his great composition- “Abhigyanashakuntalam”, based on the moving saga of Shakuntala. This large wooden Shakuntala playing with a deer recreates the scene that Dushyant’s eye’s witnessed in the grooves of Kanva Rishi’s ashrama- Shakuntala surrounded by the loveliness of nature, the epitome of femininity.

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Item Code: MIV472
Specifications:
Wooden Statue
Height: 72.7 inch
Width: 24 inch
Depth: 7 inch
Weight: 57 kg
Handmade
Handmade
Free delivery
Free delivery
Fully insured
Fully insured
100% Made in India
100% Made in India
Fair trade
Fair trade

On a lotus pedestal stands Shakuntala with her legs positioned in the Ardhaparanyakasana (right leg raised in the air), striking the most enchanting posture. Flora and fauna halo her form- from the deer she holds between her right leg, the bird sitting on her left hand, a parrot perched on her upraised right hand to the floral vines reaching their fruition, nature as Shakuntala’s ornamentation has been used in this large wooden statue. Her hair is tied in a neat updo, she wears intricate ornaments and a diaphanous green dhoti matching the greenery of her environs. The maker of this large wooden Shakuntala has given her elongated eyes, arched eyebrows, fine nose, and delicate lips whose slight smile took away the great king Dushyant’s breath.


Figures of females in the prime of their youth, surrounded by vegetation and animals are a common motif in ancient Indian art tradition. Youthful females bring auspiciousness, fecundity, and fortune into space. This wooden Shakuntala statue draws from tradition brilliantly. The muted shades used in the colors of the figure and the lacquered texture of her flawless body bring a distinctive aesthetic touch to the composition.  A bunch of flowers hangs from the top center of the floral aureole of Shakuntala from which a parrot relaxedly drinks the sweet nectar just as Dushyant relished in the essence of Shakuntala’s blossomed youth.

Sculpting Serenity: Unveiling the Art of Crafting Wood Statues

Wood has been a preferred material for sculptures and statues since ancient times. It is easy to work with than most metals and stones and therefore requires less effort to shape it into any desired shape or form. The texture of the wood gives an element of realism to the sculpture. The selection of an appropriate wood type is necessary for carving. Woods that are too resinous or coniferous are not considered good for carving as their fiber is very soft and thus lacks strength. On the other hand, wood such as Mahogany, Oakwood, Walnut wood, Weet cherry wood, etc., are preferred by sculptors because their fiber is harder. A wood sculptor uses various tools such as a pointed chisel in one hand and a mallet in another to bring the wood to the desired measurement and to make intricate details on it. A carving knife is used to cut and smooth the wood. Other tools such as the gouge, V-tool, and coping saw also serve as important tools in wood carving. Although the wood carving technique is not as complex and tough as stone carving or metal sculpting, nonetheless, a wood carver requires a high level of skills and expertise to create a stunning sculpture.

1. Selecting the right wood

The process of wood carving begins with selecting a chunk of wood that is required according to the type and shape of the statue to be created by the sculptor. Both hardwoods and softwoods are used for making artistic pieces, however, hardwoods are preferred more than softer woods because of their durability and longevity. But if heavy detailing is to be done on the statue, wood with fine grain would be needed as it would be difficult to work with hardwood.
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2. Shaping the wood

Once the wood type is selected, the wood carver begins the general shaping process using gouges of various sizes. A gouge is a tool having a curved cutting edge which is useful in removing large unwanted portions of wood easily without splitting the wood. The sculptor always carves the wood across the grain of the wood and not against it.
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3. Adding detailing

When a refined shape of the statue is obtained, it is time for making details on the statue using different tools. This is achieved by using tools such as a veiner to make and a V-tool to create decorative and sharp cuts.
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4. Surface finishing

Once finer details have been added, the sculptor is ready to smoothen the surface and give it a perfect finish. Tools such as rasps and rifflers are used to get a smooth surface. The finer polishing is obtained by rubbing the surface with sandpaper. If a textured surface is required, this step is skipped. Finally, to protect the statue from excessive dirt accumulation, the sculptor applies natural oils such as walnut or linseed oil all over it. This also brings a natural sheen to the statue.
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How to care for Wood Statues?


Wood is extensively used in sculpting especially in countries like China, Germany, and Japan. One feature that makes the wood extremely suitable for making statues and sculptures is that it is light and can take very fine detail. It is easier for artists to work with wood than with other materials such as metal or stone. Both hardwoods, as well as softwood, are used for making sculptures. Wood is mainly used for indoor sculptures because it is not as durable as stone. Changes in weather cause wooden sculptures to split or be attacked by insects or fungus. The principal woods for making sculptures and statues are cedar, pine, walnut, oak, and mahogany. The most common technique that sculptors use to make sculptures out of wood is carving with a chisel and a mallet. Since wooden statues are prone to damage, fire, and rot, they require proper care and maintenance.

 

  • Wood tends to expand and contract even after it has been processed, thus it is always recommended to keep the wooden sculptures in rooms with little humidity. Excess moisture can harm your masterpiece.

 

  • Periodical dusting of the finished piece is necessary to maintain its beauty as dust accumulation on the surface takes away the shine of the sculpture. You can use a clean and soft cloth or a hairbrush for this purpose.

 

  • You must avoid applying any chemical-based solutions that may damage the wood from the inside. Instead, you can apply lemon oil or coconut oil using a cotton rag to the sculpture to bring out its natural shine. Lemon oil also helps to clean any stains on the sculpture.

 

  • Applying a layer of beeswax protects the wood from sun damage and hides even the smallest imperfections on the wood.

 

It is extremely important to preserve and protect wooden sculptures with proper care. A little carelessness and negligence can lead to their decay, resulting in losing all their beauty and strength. Therefore, a regular clean-up of the sculptures is a must to prolong their age and to maintain their shine and luster. 

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