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Artist from Peshawar weaves magic with wheat straws.

PESHAWAR -- Collecting straws to make a living would literally equate to the idiom grasping at straws.

After all, apart from getting chomped on by animals, what good are straws? But for an artist from Peshawar, straws are everything, and the artwork he creates using these straws not only makes him a living, it also never fails to mesmerise those who come across it.

For 35 years, Abid Shah from Peshawar has been using wheat straws to create art that is not only beautiful, but that which exudes skill and sophistication.

Wheat straws typically go to waste. During the processing of wheat, the separation of the grain and chaff produces straw as a useless by-product. However, for Shah, wheat straws are as valuable as they are useless to others.

Fixing the wheat straws on a black background to make the straws prominent, Shah produces a piece of fine craftsmanship. Considering that the artwork is created from straws, the final product is surprisingly refined and elegant. Shah's range of artwork even includes calligraphy.

Talking to media, a customer expressed her awe at how clean the artwork was. She said, 'This has been made with such sophistication and cleanliness that it does not seem this has been made from straws.'

Another customer said that she was astonished to find out that this has been created using wheat straws.

Using something as useless as straw to create alluring pieces of art is a testament to the brilliance and mastery of this artist.

For him this is not just a hobby. The aged artist told a media representative, 'This started off as a hobby but now it is a means of fulfilling his household expenditures.'

His artwork sells for as low as a few hundred rupees to thousands of rupees.

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Publication:Balochistan Times (Baluchistan Province, Pakistan)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:May 13, 2017
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