The most defining feature of our Sahara chest of drawers is the screen-printed patterns. One of the earliest methods of printing, dating back over two thousand years, it brings an ethnic, folkish feel to this otherwise mid-century shaped design.
A craft that’s been honoured for thousands and thousands of years, sand casting is our choice of method for creating the brass plate-and-ring handles used on a number of our French and modern country-style pieces. It all takes place in our workshop dedicated purely to sand casting in Jaipur’s Old Town. Step inside.
“I’m the most senior artisan here. I have 40 years of experience and I teach everybody who is new; I think of them as my disciples. The ‘Ji’ part is added to my name as a mark of respect.”
“I’m the oldest employee at the workshop. I’ve worked there for 15 years. I’m proud of the journey I’ve made.”
Rakesh is one of the shyest artisans we know. He barely made eye contact with us. But with the camera, he came out of his shell entirely.
“My name translates as ‘found out along the way’. It doesn’t sound beautiful like some Indian names. It doesn’t mean prince or sacred one, but to me it’s still blessed. It shows how my life is a journey.”
Mahaveer has been working on frame carpentry and joinery for over a decade. “Us older craftsmen have a duty and a process to follow that’s bigger than our day-to-day role. There’s a lack of technical education in India so we have to train the younger generation. We take care of our apprentices so they want […]
Jolly was the word that sprung to mind when we interviewed Pukhraj. He told us about his necklace. “It has a gold medallion with Lord Hanuman on; he helps to keep evil away. I’ve had it for 13 years and it reminds me that God is always with me. I had it made by a […]
“I’ve been running the sand-casting workshop for 24 years. It’s a family-run affair that was set up by my grandfather and will be taken over by my daughter, Sonya, one day. We’re very proud to be keeping history alive. It’s very important to protect traditional craft in India.”
The piece with which our in-house designer, Harry, made his debut – it sold out within two days of its release. Mid-century in style, it was those beautifully louvered drawer panels that got us. Available in two finishes, we followed the making journey of the richly-coloured rosewood version.
Naresh spoke to us at length about his ‘pets’. He has two buffalo, a cow, and a goat. “It’s time consuming, but I have time to give. I believe in patience.”
“I have one son. His name is Yesh and he’s a historian. He took a path I didn’t expect him to take.”
We asked Ramcharan what he thought about traditional craft and the younger generation. It somehow turned into an extraordinary tale of pregnancy, elephants, snakes, camels, attracting a mate, and whether the summer was a good time to have babies. We didn’t quite understand how we got there.
“There’s a local tale that says if a wife is angry with her husband she won’t tell him. Instead, she’ll add more and more salt to his food. My food is always perfect. I hope that means my wife is happy.”
“My outlook on life is simple. I’m happy to take life as it comes. I approach life with this line in my head: ‘I’ve put my boat in the water, let the water decide where it moves.’”
A design with a real story to tell, our Sahara collection is made by our artisans in Jodhpur, India. Go behind the scenes to discover how we make the chest of drawers design – a statement piece for bedrooms, dining rooms and even living rooms alike.
“When I was 13 I started selling ice lollies near my house. I did it every day in the mornings and evenings. I was making Rmb150-200 in profit every month – that was a lot of money then. I used some of the money to help my parents pay for my school fees. With the […]
“I’ve been a carpenter my whole life. I use to make furniture by hand in my village and people would travel for miles from neighboring villages to put in their requests. Back then, having wooden furniture made was a big event, once in a lifetime for most people, usually when they got married.”
“In the past 40 years a lot of things in the world have changed. At the core though, I don’t think I’ve changed very much as a person. I’m still the hard working person I was when I was 18. Work hard – that’s my secret to a good life.”
“I have two men in my life. My six-year-old son is incredibly naughty and just loves to play. And my husband, I nag him a lot. He seems to just deal with it, which is great…for me. What would men do without us?”
We asked Fu Jiao what she likes to do in her spare time. “I’m too old to have fun anymore!”
Hong Bo grins. “I come from the local area but my wife grew up in a province far away from here. We were set up by her sister who worked nearby, she invited my wife to stay with her and that’s how we met.”
Furniture makers, decorators, artists and antique dealers come from all over the province of Zhejiang to the wood market in Shangyu, China. It’s like a small wooden town on the edge of the city where twenty vendors, each with their own outdoor area, can sell their wares.
Luna runs his hand over the freshly cut curves of the Claude petite chest’s front. The shape is serpentine, undulating elegantly. “This is one of my favourite pieces to make,” he says. “Specifically because of the curves in the drawer front. As a carpenter, making something clean and straight is nice, but it doesn’t compare […]
Luna has a naturally happy disposition. His colleagues claim he’s the joker. “I come from the Khati caste, it means carpenter. I love making all the furniture.” He drags out ‘all’ for emphasis – “allll the furniture.”
“I used to be an artist, a painter of miniature Mughal art that’s particularly popular in southern Asia. After a while the market for that kind of work fell, so I’ve been searching for a role where I could still work with paint and with colour. Now I believe I was born to be a […]