By: Masouda Qarizada
An ancient street in old city of Herat is shelter of artists who are involved in woodturning and produce everything from pieces of wood. The old craftsmen have either passed away or left the country and have given their place to younger artists but still the street is unfading and flourishing.
The wooden doors of shops beside ancient bricks architecture, still narrate the atmosphere of old days of turners’ street. The wood turners artists are concerning on free imports of similar products from China.
In recent years, wood industries have changed and ancient instruments have been replaced by modern instruments and equipements.
Herat Craftsmen Union believes that if the situation advance in this way, the old turnery craft may be annihilated in the future.
Most parts of this long narrow street have still preserved the odor and color of ancient days. At the end of this street inside a small and old shop, an Oldman with shaking, thin and weak hands was beating a small piece of wood with a chip-axe intended to make a wooden thing.
He was Khalifa Ghulam Hassan who is an acknowledged and qualified I woodturner and know to everybody.
He had a lot of words to say and started his life narration since his childhood. At the moment for nearly 70 years he is involved in this craft and is unique in that street with that craft.
Khalifa Ghulam Hassan said that most craftsmen use electrical instruments but he has anticipated them and produces such things that others fail to.
Khalifa Ghulam Hassan is the last remnant of previous generation of turners and in his absence, no one would manage to bride his gap.
Abdul Ghani Yusufi one of the old craftsmen of this street believes that, turnery lacks the past glory and has been fading today. With imports of new machines, the craftsmen have been badly affected.
According to him, instead of customers, sometimes residents of Herat as well as repatriate Herati refugees from European territories visit their shops and products and purchase handmade objects. Today big and modern carpentry machines as well as M.D.F boards have occupied the wood markets.
Abdul Wadood Faizzadah chairman of Herat Craftsmen Union said, over 600 trade unions are operating in Herat in the field of wood and M.D.F.
In his opinion, large parts of old crafts including glass making, copper smithing…. Have been posed with the danger of full annihilation Imports of Chinese metal doors and windows and P.V.C products causes fading of turnery and people use the new products.