Are you married?

Usman is small in stature, with quick movements and a broad smile. He nods his head in answer to our question. “Yes, I’m married,” he says. “It’s a good thing too. If I wasn’t,” he pulls at his clothing, “the women would be tearing my clothes off!”

 

Armchair, French style

Like most of the carvers in Jaipur, Usman comes from Uttar Pradesh, where mango trees are grown and carving skills are honed. With hammer and chisel, he carves the detail into the leg of a Lille armchair. “I love shaping the cabriole foot the most,” he tells us. “There’s more detail involved, more skill required.”

 

Armchair, French style

 Usman likes to listen to music while he works and often downloads songs onto his mobile phone “I memorise my favourite songs by singing them over and over again,” he tells us, smiling confidently. “Even if it drives my colleagues crazy.”

 

Usman, 28, carver

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