It is nature’s dexterity that has produced a beautiful stone like Marble; but it is purely the skill of the craftsperson that further refines nature’s beauty. Craftsmen through their skill amplify this beauty by creating unbelievable forms.


The process of making our artwork goes from paper to product and hence requires the imaginative and creative thinking of the designer and the able dexterity of artisans. Newness in designs exposes the biggest challenge: the craftsmen take considerably long time to execute new and creative patterns. Further, only some extremely skilled craftsmen have the superior talent or experienced eye to create our artwork.


The various stages involved in creating a marble artwork from our Royal Desires Collection are as follows:

  • Marble Selection
    Marble comes in various grades of quality. It requires years of experience to select the block of marble that will yield an object that has divine purity and whiteness. The process is intuitive and true quality and spotlessness is exposed only after the object is carved and polished. The strict selection practices lead to high rejection (sometimes more than 50-60% rejection) after an effort has been put to not only select a block of marble, but also shape the artefact.
  • Shaping of Marble
    Leith tool is used for shaping vases with concentric round sections, while odd forms of bowls or pots are entirely sculpted with hammer and chisel. The selected marble block is affixed to the rotating handle of Leith tool and the shaping blade is held by the craftsman who manipulates the blade to form the desired shapes. Even the seemingly simple round pots need extremely skilled craftsperson, else the shape obtained will be different from that intended. The object is then buffed to achieve polished finish.


    Making a desired shape in marble is an exhaustive and time consuming process that demands high skill and concentration. With a stone as delicate as marble, there is a thin line between achieving superior finish, and losing the piece forever by over-working the stone, and thereby breaking it.

The designer is faced with several limitations and challenges while designing marble artworks. Firstly, the restrain offered by Laith tool that can only be used to produce artworks with co-centric round sections limits the possibility of producing irregular shapes at affordable cost. Secondly, the designer needs to ensure that the dimensions specified provide enough room to make finishing of internal and external surfaces possible. Further, the artwork thickness cannot be very less as that may result in breakage of marble at shaping or inlay stage. Additionally, the design should be either joint free or it should facilitate concealment of joints to ensure impeccable finish.


Pietre Dure or Parchinkari Work


The art of inlaying stones as per pattern to create a smooth decorative surface is called Pietre Dura or Parchinkari. The art was extremely favored during Renaissance period in Italy as stones of different hues were judiciously put together to make patterns or shaded paintings in stone. We use this art in its traditional form to evolve framed panels, the content of which appreciates art themes of yore. This is an extremely skilled art, and only a few craftsmen have the expertise to create these pieces under able guidance of supervisors or master-craftsmen.


In India, Pietre Dura, in its modified form was Parchinkari. It was popularly used during Moghul period to create inlays of geometrical designs and simplified floral and animal patterns, and was extensively used in monuments, especially the Taj Mahal. We use the same techniques, but with added complexity as our patterns are more realistic and necessitate intensive shading skills. This offers an unforeseen that is as original as it is exciting.


The process of Parchinkari and Pietre Dura is completely hand-crafted. The process first requires, carefully cutting of each selected stone as per pattern shape and color. The stones are manually shaped using a wood bow and iron wire with abrasive powder and water that allow precision cutting of most complex forms. The design is then traced on marble pieces, and surface of marble is sliced as per design to create insets to receive colored stones. Each semi-precious stone piece is then meticulously glued to its respective spot in the marble substrate, and the artwork is then polished to a smooth sheen.


Parchinkari requires extremely dexterous artisan with high level of patience and concentration. The newness and small size of patterns, together with curved surface of vases present a tough challenge to the artisans. Artisans have not only to shape stone pieces on edges, but also to carve them such that they fit curved surface of marble vase.



Though Mother Earth offers a vast variety of stones, there is a restrictive limitation with the colors available in semi-precious stones that can be used for inlay work. Hence, the designer has to work with a limited palette and struggles to ensure that the color scheme is balanced and enchanting. Additionally, some stones are very dull and brittle, presenting problem of jagged edges and faded appearances. Further, the minute or fine work requires very high dexterity that only master-craftsmen possess. As this turns out to be significantly expensive, the designers strive to ingeniously balance pattern finesse and costing.