Born to a pious Christian couple in Mulloor, a non-descript village near Kollegal, Karnataka, Putta Raju received his primary education in the village, where he studied up to 10th standard. Given his passion and skill in drawing, he then enrolled for a four-year course in Inlay Design at the Chamarajendra Technical Institute. This was followed by another five-year diploma course in Fine Arts that the gifted artist completed a year early, gaining the confidence and opportunity to master the art and techniques essential for wood relief collage and marquetry. Adept at sketching, choosing the right quality and colour of wood, cutting it into desired shape, scooping the rosewood plank, embedding the cut wooden pieces into the shallow pits, detailing them with engraving and finally the scraping and polishing – he has mastered the art of performing all these tasks essential for inlay work singlehandedly, tasks that usually require the skills of 6-7 persons! Acknowledged for his craftsmanship in inlay and marquetry, Putta Raju is credited with pioneering the relief technique in wood collage. He has also done inlay of coloured stones on marble slabs and perfected the technique of portraits in inlay. Equally good at sketching, drawing and painting, he creates varied artifacts using the relief technique, which depict mythology, narratives and human portraits. Honoured with Rotary Ramsons Kala Pratishtana Award and Rajyotsava Award from the state government of Karnataka, Putta Raju’s masterpiece panel Submission with Devotion, in wood inlay and collage, fetched him the coveted first prize at the Mysore Dasara Exhibition.