Asia & Oceania // Pakistan
Onyx carving and other small crafts workshops provide many jobs in Pakistan, where work opportunities are scarce. Dominion Traders is an export company based in Karachi that assists skilled stone and shesham wood artisans in finding markets for their products. Dominion Traders operates its own workshop, employing more than 55 artisans and they also work with as many as 20 other independently owned workshops.
Dominion searches out the highest quality onyx, going to the onyx mines in areas near Peshawar and Quetta to mark the stone themselves, selecting stone with beautiful colors and grains. When the onyx boulders arrive in Karachi from the mines, the huge blocks are cut into smaller chunks using a lathe-like machine with a circular blade. The artisans carve the onyx into bowls, animals, candlesticks, bookends, lamps, and boxes taking advantage of the natural colors and grains.
Dominion has also developed beautiful products from different types of Pakistani marble: coral marble, teak marble (marble with a wood-like grain), and fossil marble. Pakistani woodcarvers also create beautiful furniture using shesham wood and intricately carved patterns.