#Mango Wood

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.”

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.”

3 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…”

3 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.

3 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.”

3 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 […]

3 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.”

3 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.

3 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.

3 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 […]

3 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.”

3 years ago · 7 min read
Prem – joiner.

Prem studied geography for his degree. He graduated from Barmer in 2012 but decided academia wasn’t for him so moved to Jaipur to be closer to his two brothers. He started working at the workshop two years ago.

3 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 […]

3 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.”

3 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
Ramcharan, 49 – helper.

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.

4 years ago · 7 min read
Avdesh, 28 – carpenter.

“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.”

4 years ago · 7 min read
Hastaram, 22 – sander.

Hastaram actually means ‘laughing man’. But when we talk to Hastaram, we soon learn he’s a serious character. He laughed when we asked to take his photograph though.

4 years ago · 7 min read
Bhawanai, 25 – sander.

We asked Bhawani about the amulet around his neck. “It’s actually a locket, filled with hand-written scriptures that have been blessed by a priest to ward off the devil. I was given it 12 years ago and have worn it ever since.”