Friday, March 14, 2014

Wandering the cobbled streets of Karimabad I came across a number of woodwork shops selling beautiful hand carved spoons, forks, knives and bowls. One of the artisans who has opened a small shop is a gentlemen called Shafqat Karim.

I sat in his workshop chatting to him about this age old craft that was dying out in the Hunza valley until a handful of artisans started some 10 years ago reviving the craft.

Shafqat gave up being a policemen to follow his passion for wood work and carving – a totally self taught artisan who loves sitting in his workshop experimenting with different local woods from the Hunza valley such as walnut, almond, apricot, cherry and pear.

He spends a lot of the autumn months travelling through the Upper Hunza valleys of Shimshal, Nagar and Gojal looking for old trees that have fallen down during the winter months. Never in his wildest dreams would he cut down an old tree – Shafqat is not only a budding artist but also a serious conservationist.

When you next visit Hunza support Shafqat and the other Hunza artisans who are passionate about reviving what was a dying art. I went home one happy customer – salad servers made from apricot wood, bowls made from cherry wood and wonderful serving spoons made from walnut wood