#hand-made furniture

2 years ago · 7 min read
Under the spotlight: brass studding.

A flourish seen on traditional furniture from across Europe – particularly British, French and Swedish – lines of brass studding lend a design an antique air. From the Astor ottomans to the Rouen stools, this longstanding technique is one of our favourite finishing touches.

2 years ago · 7 min read
Manbhari, 45, woodworker.

She’s dressed beautifully. “My bangles show I’m married. They’re part of the nine symbols of marriage. You’ll see them on any married woman here who honours the traditions.”

2 years ago · 7 min read
Under the spotlight: screen-printing.

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.

3 years ago · 7 min read
Under the spotlight: the art of weaving.

The artisan weavers chat quietly to each other as they sit in pairs. They work in tandem, the Golden Chevron pattern of our Lombard rug creeping steadily up the loom. A craft and a complicated science, people have been weaving for thousands of years. Ambrish Bharti, one of our leading loom artisans, tries to explain […]

3 years ago · 7 min read
Charlotte Lloyd – Designer

“It’s a bit like cooking really, you have an idea of the occasion or style you want, and the ingredients, so you see what happens!” Charlotte Lloyd, founder of vibrant textile brand, Charles of Lloyd, has an endearing approach to design. “I like my work to have a hand-drawn, natural feel to it rather than […]

3 years ago · 7 min read
Under the spotlight: sand casting.

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.

3 years ago · 7 min read
Bheemraj, 23, upholsterer.

“We asked Bheemraj what his favourite part of his job is. Instead of naming a specific process, he said: “Every part of your body is important, whether it’s your ear, your eye or your leg. Furniture is the same. It’s made up of many processes, each one is just as important as the others.”

3 years ago · 7 min read
Shayan Ji, senior artisan.

“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.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Darmesh, 24 – stitcher.

“I’ve dressed smartly since I was a young guy. I don’t do it for the ladies though. Although, I could play on the tailor thing. Maybe offer measuring for blouses…”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Rakesh, 20 – painter.

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.

4 years ago · 7 min read
Ladhu Singh, carpenter.

“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.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Mahaveer, 46 – joiner.

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 […]

4 years ago · 7 min read
Santra, 34 – sander.

“At lunchtime there’s always a lot of joking. The women huddle together and tease one another, especially about their husbands. Who has the smartest husband, and who doesn’t..! We all wear a lot of colour too. A workplace should be uplifting.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Under the spotlight: leg-turning.

Beautifully contoured legs have been commonplace in furniture design for thousands of years. You see it particularly with rustic, country designs like our Astor ottomans. Go behind the scenes of our wood workshop and watch the craft transform the mango wood base.

4 years ago · 7 min read
Under the spotlight: tufting by hand.

Tufting. Square, diamond, or buttoned, it’s an upholstery finishing technique that can transform a piece entirely. Our Astor ottomans are all diamond-tufted. Follow the hands that create its luxurious, pocketed effect.

4 years ago · 7 min read
Suresh, 34 – finisher.

“I could’ve lived anywhere with my work but my heart is in Jaipur. I like to ride my motorcycle into work every morning.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Pukhraj, 33 – joiner and supervisor.

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 […]

4 years ago · 7 min read
Pradeep, 22 – joiner.

Pradeep has only been working at our carpentry workshop for a year. “My parents taught me to be a good disciple of craft. A good one learns fast, a lazy disciple learns slowly.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Jessica Russell Flint – designer.

“There’s no such thing as a typical day’s work for me. One day I might be at a show, the next in my studio, I may spend a morning drawing and an afternoon doing admin or speaking to production houses from all over the world. If I could I’d be creating new prints from dawn til dusk, […]

4 years ago · 7 min read
Sushil, 33 – sander.

“I believe at least four hours of every day should be devoted to gossip. I don’t always try to separate work and play; laughter should be a part of every workplace. That’s what chai breaks are for.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Akbar, 21 – carver.

At only 21 years old, Akbar is already deemed as one of the master carvers at the frame workshop. “I learnt a lot as a young man at home. There was an excellent carver in my village and he taught me everything he knew. He taught me about tools too, so I started collecting my […]

4 years ago · 7 min read
Mularam – finisher.

“I’m originally from Badmir where there’s very little rainfall. I used to have to walk 5-7km to get drinking water so I’m pretty tough. The temperature can reach 40 degrees there so there’s nothing in Jaipur that I can’t handle.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Guddu, 22 – carpenter.

“People assume I’m cheeky because I laugh a lot. I guess I am, but I have a lot of insights to share and I think a fair bit of wisdom for my years.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Umila, 36 – frame finisher.

“I’m very house proud and like to shop at the markets, especially if there are weddings to prepare for. I went to a wedding last month and there were about 500 people there, all dancing. I love to dance.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Naresh, 35 – screen printer.

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.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Dinesh, 45 – carpenter.

“Carpentry has been in my family for generations. I’ve been around it from a very early age, picking up skills as I got older. It’s more than a job for me. I even have my own band saw at home.”