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Woodturning industry; fine art in Afghanistan history

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Woodturning industry; fine art in Afghanistan history

 Haroon Amiri, one of owners of woodturning shops and a turner in Kabul city, in an interview with The Kabul Times correspondent briefed related to woodturning industry in Afghanistan and said, “Woodturning industry has been common in various parts of Afghanistan during the past few decades and is one of the fine arts in the country’s history.”

He added that a number of Afghans are busy in woodturning industry in various parts of the country. They are lathing woods and designing furniture, windows, doors, eating table, beds and others.
Amiri, who has preferred to woodturning industry and make a living by working as a turner for years, says we imported turneries from Pakistan in past, but fortunately all kinds of woods used in the industry are produced in Afghanistan. 
“Turnery wood is from Jalalabad and from such wood, we are designing furniture, stands of sleeping beds, windows and others by wood-turning lathe machine and selling them in market,” Amiri said, adding that various kinds of orders were accepted and provided to customers.
Pointing to increasing insecurity in the country, Amiri said wood-turning industry has faded comparing to previous years as unemployment and insecurities have increased in recent years as well as most of Afghans have left the country for European and other foreign countries.
Haroon Amiri is now working with his two students in a small shop in Kabul city. He asked the government to support the industry and provide better working circumstances to those who are working in this field.
He further said that they would develop such industries in the country if security was maintained and further wood turning machineries were provided to them.
Woodturning is the craft of using the wood lathe with hand-held tools to cut a shape that is symmetrical around the axis of rotation. 
Like the potter’s wheel, the wood lathe is a simple mechanism which can generate a variety of forms. The operator is known as a turner, and the skills needed to use the tools were traditionally known as turnery. The skills to use the tools by hand, without a fixed point of contact with the wood, distinguish woodturning and the wood lathe from the machinists lathe, or metal-working lathe.
Items made on the lathe include tool handles, candlesticks, egg cups, knobs, lamps, rolling pins, cylindrical boxes, bodkins, knitting needles, needle cases, thimbles, pens, chessmen, spinning tops; legs, spindles and pegs for furniture; balusters and newel posts for architecture; baseball bats, hollow forms such as woodwind musical instruments, urns, sculptures; bowls, platters, and chair seats. Industrial production has replaced many of these products from the traditional turning shop. However, the wood lathe is still used for decentralized production of limited or custom turnings. A skilled turner can produce a wide variety of objects with five or six simple tools. The tools can be reshaped easily for the task at hand.
In many parts of the world, the lathe has been a portable tool that goes to the source of the wood, or adapts to temporary workspaces. 21st-century turners restore furniture, continue folk-art traditions, produce custom architectural work, and create fine craft for galleries. Woodturning appeals to people who like to work with their hands, find pleasure in problem-solving, or enjoy the tactile and visual qualities of wood.