Carving a Living

Providing jobs for wood carvers and creating a sustainable timber practice
Royal Wood Crafts is more than just handcraft manufacturer and exporter. The Nagina, India-based company is recognized for its unique and high quality carved wood products that are beautifully embellished with inlay design, but what makes the company one-of-its-kind is the concern over ecological, social and economical consequences of illegal logging, degradation and deforestation.
According to the company’s website, as a member of the World Wild Fund for Nature’s  Global Forest & Trade Network India brand (GFTN INDIA), Royal Woods Crafts has taken steps and actively participate  promoting responsible and sustainable timber trade practices. The company owns 21 acres of land and in 2003-2010 planted a variety of trees like eucalyptus , poplar , teak, mango , guava, lime , jamun , bel, imli, sheesham,and neem  to support the industry. The area has a water channel which is fed by water regularly to support biodiversity within the area.
The company currently employs local 120 artisans, many of whom are master wood carvers, and experts in brass and other metal inlay work. In addition to the skilled artisans, the company also employs with semi-skilled workers, who are trained by their more experienced peers. A number of training programs are supplied by the company.
Royal Wood Crafts designs a number of decorative boxes, boards for games, coasters, pen holders, walking sticks, urns and ashtrays. To make each of the products wood logs are procured where they’re taken to a saw mill and cut to a certain thickness that is then followed by seasoning the wood and chemically treated. The next step is cutting the wood for the desired shape and joined with other pieces. Once the pieces are joined, the inlaying process begins and then followed by sanding and polishing. The final step is is a quality check to check for flaws. When the product passes inspection, it is packed and then exported. 
Unlike many handcraft organizations, Royal Wood Crafts grapples with the day-to-day challenges of the ever-changing business cycle. Among the challenges they face are changes in demand from the international market as well as revised government policies with regard to handcraft enterprises. However, the company enjoys the partnership of the Export Promote Council that publicizes their products internationally. 
As part of their marketing plan, Royal Wood Crafts will be attending for the first time at NY NOW’s Artisan Resource at New York City’s Jacob Javits Center from. February 3-6. The company will be exhibiting a series of wooden games that include both traditional and contemporaty motifs. 
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