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Simon Sorted © Lazo Studios
Simon Sorted © Lazo Studios
Simon Sorted © Lazo Studios
Simon Sorted © Lazo Studios
Phil Watston © Lazo Studios

Naseer Yasna & Hedieh Wojgani

  • Lazo Studios
  • Wood carving
  • London, United Kingdom
  • Master Artisan
Naseer Yasna & Hedieh Wojgani Wood carving
Simon Sorted © Lazo Studios

A team in art and life

  • • Naseer learned woodcarving in Iran from master Hassan Khondani
  • • Naseer and Hedieh started working together for a charity in Kabul
  • • Their Sunflower Bookcase appears in many contemporary Afghan interiors

Afghan artisan Naseer Yasna learned his craft in Iran from Hassan Khondani, an Iraqi master woodcarver, when he was only 13. Years later, back in Afghanistan, he studied traditional carving, taking inspiration from the Islamic and pre-Islamic cultures, and opened his own studio. Then he joined the charity Turquoise Mountain, where he met Hedieh Wojgani. Their different perspectives and skills complemented each other and they soon realised that, together, they were a very strong team, in art as in life. “Our goal was to contribute to the development of a high quality craft industry in Afghanistan, and help raise awareness and a sense of pride in its cultural heritage. Unfortunately, in 2016 the situation in Kabul made us decide to leave Afghanistan and relocate to London”.

Read the full interview


  • Simon Sorted © Lazo Studios
  • Simon Sorted © Lazo Studios
  • Phil Watston © Lazo Studios
  • Phil Watston © Lazo Studios
  • Simon Sorted © Lazo Studios
Photo: Simon Sorted © Lazo Studios
Cuneiform chair & ottoman

This armchair and footstool are reinterpretations of tribal furniture from remote parts of Eastern Afghanistan. The asymmetric, sculptural armchair also features intricate hand carvings inspired by the cuneiform scripts found on tablets from ancient Mesopotamia. The animal head details of the back rest and the lopsided leg are direct references to antique Nurestani furniture. The upholstery fabric is carefully selected in harmony with the carved pattern, adding a bit of colour and contemporizing these handcrafted pieces.

Length 60 cm
Width 59 cm
Height 96 cm

Photo: Simon Sorted © Lazo Studios
Night Sky display cabinet

This sculptural display cabinet is inspired by the traditional furniture of some ancient Afghan tribes. It comprises three different sized storage boxes suspended between scissored stands. The stands are hand carved and are at slightly different heights. Each is topped by an abstract head of an animal widely mythologised in Afghanistan and West Asia. Dovetail joints are used to construct the body of each suspended unit, while the cabinet doors feature irregular abstract chip carving patterns to emulate the stars in the night sky. The work is finished with Danish oil.

Length 45 cm
Width 108 cm
Height 240 cm

Photo: Phil Watston © Lazo Studios
Parrot domino set

This piece is inspired by Rumi’s fable of The Parrot And The Merchant. It uses the language of chip carving to paint scenery and create animal characters. The box features a hand sculpted faceted lid, and a colourful parrot perched on an autumnal branch. Continuing with the same theme, each domino is carved to display a single elegant feather in blues and greens on one face, while on the other the conventional dots are turned into elongated thorns, each number colour-coded to ease recognition.

Length 11 cm
Width 15.5 cm
Height 11 cm

Photo: Phil Watston © Lazo Studios
Stardust four poster bed

With clean lines and classic forms, this four poster bed is made of American walnut with pine slats. Partly inspired by the eightfold geometric designs of Central Asian architecture, it incorporates some of the popular characters of Naseer and Hedieth's Clan collection of sculptures. The octagonal tapered posts are individually handcrafted and each is crowned with the head of a different mythical character from Afghan tribes. The hand carved eight-pointed stars scattered irregularly all over the surface of the wood evoke fairytales. The final work is finished with Danish oil to draw out the natural beauty of the wood grain.

Length 205 cm
Width 175 cm
Height 220 cm

Photo: Simon Sorted © Lazo Studios
Whirling Dervishes chess set

Inspired by pre-Islamic mythical figures and cultural artefacts from remote parts of Eastern Afghanistan, each chess piece is hand carved and hand painted to form the most unique chess set. The twisting body of each figure evokes the Sufi dance of whirling dervishes, thus converting the ancient game of chess into a dance. The board and box are hand carved and covered with individual hand painted wooden tiles, which, with their Escher-like effect, add to the distinctiveness of this piece.

Length 49 cm
Width 49 cm
Height 9 cm

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