Craft : Gemstone Carving
National Award 2006
Mr. Prithvi Raj Kumawat began to train in the art of carving when he was ten years old. His parents were financially unable to support his studies so he had to earn money himself to finance his education. He never intended to end up in this profession of crafting, but he had no other choice. However, today he realises this is what destiny had in store for him.
“For fifteen long years he was trained by his cousin, Chhote Lal Kumawat. During this time as a trainee he really learned and understood the art of carving. By 1983, he was able to work independently. His line of products includes all types of wooden handicrafts, but his specialty is Natraj, as well as other Hindu deities.
He is proud that his effort and hard work eventually paid off, and in 1986 he was honored with the Rajasthan State Award. He has also participated in numerous exhibitions in and around the country. In 2004, he was honored with National Merit Certificate for Master craftperson, an award presented by India’s Ministry of Textiles. Then in 2006, he got the National Award in Handicraft for his work carving work on a real ostrich egg shell.
“However in 2008, he had to shift his profession from wood to gemstone as it was very difficult for him to work alone and the labor cost was becoming very expensive, affecting the final cost of products. Another problem was the availability of good raw material. You know the wood has to be properly seasoned before carving otherwise the wood cracks after sometime if they did not season properly. He had faced few problems so he decided to shift his material from wood to stone.
Since he was already a carver, it was not difficult for him to switch. However, it did take two years to master the art of stone-carving. Now, he gets the raw materials from Jaipur only, without much hassle. Since he started making gemstone sculptures, he has participated in exhibitions in Jaipur and different parts of India.
In 2013, he was honored with Maharana Sajjan Singh award. The Maharana Sajjan Singh Award is a State Award and was instituted to honor work of permanent value to society through the medium of paintings, fine art, sculpture, architecture and craft.”