A master craftsman of wood carving
Mohammed Matloob at work in his workshop, finely filing the ends of a lattice to be fixed in a wooden screen.
Mohammed Matloob works on a commissioned piece for the Portugal embassy.
The quality of his work has attracted an illustrious international clientele. His ability to adjust his own creativity to the wishes of his clients is what makes him popular among them.
In process: bone inlay embellishment on top of a wooden box.
Different patterns of lattices, inspired by Mughal era designs.
The master craftsman always tries to add a glimpse of Mughal art and architecture in his carvings.
Mohammed Matloob dismantles the parts of a partition screen.
One of the distinctive features of this panel is the assemblage of mounds and depressions, which make the entire structure fit together without the use of a single nail.
The craftsman fixes the sides of a wooden box with an innovative technique of mounds and depressions, without the use of nails.
This technique helps him assemble and dismantle the box with ease.
Skillfully cutting pieces of bone to create a bone inlay design on a box.
Mohammed Matloob’s daughters create lattice pattern on wooden coasters, taking his legacy forward.
Shaheen Anjum, Mohammed Matloob’s wife, works in her husband’s workshop along with her daughters.
The matriarch takes charge of the workshop in her husband’s absence and trains her daughters as well.
Mohammed Matloob’s won his National Award in 2005 for this rose wood box, which took him three years to create.
It is the only piece in his collection which uses the push button technology instead of the conventional front clasps to open the box.
Also, it has beautifully carved elephant shaped legs, with bone inlay for tusks and feet.
On the underside of the lid of the box there is an intricate lattice design and fine Mughal carving.
It shows the extent of refinement in his art, which only years of dedication and experience can bring.
Detail of Mohammed Matloob’s intricately carved rosewood box, with inlay of yellow teak woven to imitate the pattern on a cane chair.
Mohammed Matloob’s rosewood box with fine details and an impression of weaving is invaluable to him. He is not willing to sell it but is open to loaning it for a museum display.
A wooden partition with intricate lattice design is another one of Mohammed Matloob's award-winning pieces.
Each jaali panel is exquisitely crafted and has a different design.
A box made of loquat wood with 3D lattice design. Its distinctive features are the wooden front clasp and hinges.
Also, the bird design in the rear has an inlay of ebony wood in their eyes.
A one of a kind vanity box made with a combination of ebony and loquat wood.
The base of the box is made of loquat wood while the borders and segment lid tops are made of ebony wood.
The wooden tray with a carved fork and spoon shows the precision and fineness of Mohammed Matloob’s work.
A stunning jewellery box made of ebony wood, crafted by Mohammed.
Its striking features are its hinges and front clasp, which are also made using ebony wood instead of in usual metal.
Mohammed Matloob’s finely crafted bone lamp demonstrates his observance of minute details to create a balance of excellence and utility in a product.
The master craftsman received the Excellence in Handicraft Award from the Worlds Crafts Council for brilliance, authenticity and innovation in his style of work for such photo frames.
The garden chair made from rosewood with yellow teak inlaid shows Mohammed Maloob’s artistry in employing traditional techniques ranging from carving to inlay for creating high-quality furniture.
A walking stick with an elephant's face on the handle, made from loquat wood, is one of his finest pieces.
He wants to pass it on to his children as a part of their inheritance.
Mohammed Matloob’s image reflected in a mirror of his making seems to be perfectly crafted for this moment.
Mohammed Matloob, the fourth generation artist of the wood carver’s family, has been featured in myriad newspapers and magazines for his work.
Besides, his work has also been attested by international organisations like the European Union, World Crafts Council, UNESCO, and many diplomatic missions.
Text: Rashmi Sacher
Photography: Subinoy Das
Artisans: Mohammed Matloob and his team of apprentices, Yog Raj and his team of wood carvers
Ground Facilitator: Rashmi Sacher
Documentary Video: Subinoy Das
Curation: Ruchira Verma