Stone carving – Stone carving is an art where rough natural stones are shaped and given bejewelled forms.  Stone carving process is used while creating sculpture or architecture. Stone carving is one art which is notably brilliance accomplished in different stand stones. There are different stand stones have been used to give artistic forms of deities by artisans.

Major centre of stone carving – Gwalior is known as major centre of stone carving. Usually pink and white stones are collected from the Indian ranges which is the main source of their raw material. This stone is also known as Gwalior stone. These stones are used extensively in Gwalior palaces and forts. This resulted in stunning architecture and art. These artefacts are being produced which are heavily in demand.

Use of Stones in Modern Ways –

Stone is the strongest material present on Earth. Stones withstand any weather conditions and that is why people are utilizing it for wall cladding situation. Leading Gwalior stones are manufacturing more stones as per rising demands. These stones are used for exterior decor of being premium quality to both touch and feel.

Usage –

There are many traditional and contemporary products are carved out of stones in Gwalior. The sculptures of deities are done to perfection. Some sculptures are ordered for installation at temples and are also exported overseas. There is a significant part of stone carving done by craftsmen such as fountains, garden furniture and urban installations. A new generation of craftsmen keeps experimenting with stone medium and contemporary designs. But the age-old traditions are kept intact.

Significance –

There are beautiful sculptures crafted out of stones in Gwalior. They are perfectly chiseled as per customer demand. The craftsmen bring in marble work or unfinished statues and then make beautiful artefacts. This is the shilpanic tradition of stone carving and stone carvers are known as shlipkar. According to old beliefs, a stone is a living entity.  Stone is believed to live longer than any other material on earth. As per shilpanic tradition, there are three kinds of stones. one produces a resonant sound like bell, another stone produces long and slender note and third type doesn’t create any sound. These stones dampen the vibrations and stones are called as male, female and neutral one respectively. As per Shastra, male stones are used for carving male deities, female stone for female deities and neutral stone for building temples. The sculptor’s moral code is given great emphasis and he is one who created sacred forms through his thoughts.

History –

Stone has withstood the corrosion of the time and lived to tell the tale of different civilizations.  These are readily available, temperature resistant, strong and durable. Stone was the first material to be used as a tool or the first material on which the human race has ever worked. Stone carving in Gwalior is a craft that has passed over generations. The fort is a masterpiece in stone and houses are various beautiful figures of gods, deities and mythical creatures.

Design –

The stones are used to create differently form of deities like Shiva ling, goddesses or meditative Buddha. The figures resemble and follow the style of sculptures installed in the temples and palaces. Polished and ornamental figures with traditional connotations are being made. But today, stones have become more of a decorative object than structural. These have geometric designs, mostly from Islamic patterns.

Challenges –

There are techniques like Computer Numerical control systems that have given stone carving more industrial techniques with fast and accurate results. This brought a sharp fall in the prices of sculptures. Craftsmen do not indulge in business dealings and confine themselves to craft work. Most of the profit is snatched by meditators. The high price of raw materials added to the problems of artisans.

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