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Zinnatulla Alimbayev

Zinnatulla Alimbayev

The greatest joy I derive from my craft is not in the finished works themselves, but in nurturing the young talents who seek to walk this path.

"As a creative soul, my journey into the world of woodcarving was one of serendipity and destiny interwoven. I stand... before you today, not as a master of the craft, but as a humble steward of tradition, bearing the title of 'People's Master'. This honor was not just bestowed upon me; it was a testament to a lifelong dedication to the art of woodcarving, a craft deeply rooted in the heart of Uzbekistan.

"It all began when my dearest friend, a kindred spirit in his own right, delved into the enchanting world of craftsmanship. His newfound passion ignited a spark within me, and I found myself irresistibly drawn towards the allure of carving intricate designs into the very essence of nature - wood. In pursuit of this newfound passion, I sought knowledge from the various masters who graced the streets of Tashkent. Each master had a unique style, a signature that breathed life into their creations. As I learned from them, my own style began to take shape, influenced by the rich tapestry of the Tashkent school.

"Woodcarving, in Uzbekistan, is a timeless tradition, a tapestry woven through generations. I have remained steadfast in my commitment to preserving these traditions, using the very methods that have been passed down through the ages. I often start with smaller pieces, carving them with my own hands. The choice of wood is paramount in this craft. I favor hardwoods, believing that their natural elegance and durability are unmatched. Walnut, beech, maple, and cherry trees are my preferred materials. While some, like beech, come from distant lands, I cherish the local bounty of walnut, mulberry, and cherry wood. There is a connection between the wood and the land it hails from, and I believe this connection lends a unique character to each piece I create. "The greatest joy I derive from my craft is not in the finished works themselves, but in nurturing the young talents who seek to walk this path. It is my hope that, through my teachings, these budding artisans will one day surpass me, taking the craft to even greater heights. As I look to the future, I am filled with a sense of purpose and contentment. My own children did not inherit my craft, but my nephews stand as a testament to the continuation of this rich tradition. My ambition is simple - to work harder, live more fully, and witness a prosperous future for those who have chosen to follow in my footsteps.

"A motto that has resonated deeply within me throughout this journey is, 'May the hand be in labor, may your heart be in Allah.' It encapsulates the essence of my work, reminding me that it is not just the hands that craft these wooden wonders but also the heart, guided by faith and devotion to a craft that has defined my life's purpose."
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