Posts tagged Kongastenna

Wood sculptures and handicrafts.


Sri Lanka is famous for handicrafts since very ancient times. Especially in the up country regions of Kandy and its surroundings. These talented craftsmen present many creations with wood.


The craft itself has been preserved and handed down through generations of tradition and skill. Working with timber to produce is also an art that has been mastered and refined with time. There are many groups or schools specializing in different aspects or styles of handicraft. At present, the traditional craftsman who inherited the art has been replaced by a new generation of those who show an aptitude and skill for the trade. It is evident that this new generation is giving new meaning and purpose to the trade through the display of their capabilities and talents. Often new generation craftsmen are innovative and creative unlike their traditional counterparts. “Ruk kalawa” or wood carving is the other form of wood creations closely related to handicrafts. It is generally the bark, trunk, branch or root of a fallen or perishing tree that provides the source for such creations.


Even a stump ready to be chopped off for firewood can become a new creation of art in the hands of a good craftsman. At times a ferocious animal, at other times a human figure or a venomous snake, are ways in which the artist brings to life a dead piece of wood. Mr.E.W.Siripala is a craftsman living in Kongastenna, not too far from Damahana, in Balangoda. A painter by profession, Mr. Siripala spends his past time carving figures out of wood. His house is filled up with such creations of his own.


What seems a piece of firewood provides the source for his creations. “As I see the piece of wood- the design is formed in my mind’ is how he describes it. ‘I, then begin to put the tools to work’ are his words.

Siripala has not received any training in this field but has developed a natural flair and skill for the craft. It is astonishing to see him working with knife, axe, and hammer to create figures of various sizes, shapes and form as birds, lions deer dogs and humans.
We wish him well and success with his creations

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