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.
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.”
“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.”
“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…”
“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.”
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 […]
“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.”
The petite Aimee is one of our all-time favourite French-style bedside tables. Made from mango wood, it’s available in various finishes including a lime-washed effect and a rustic sandblasted technique.
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.
Akbar hand-carves every one of our Rouen stools. He describes carving as a ‘divine art’. Literally, a blessed skill. He’s been doing it for over six years and it takes him two-three hours to carve a single stool.
Petite and perfectly formed, the Rouen was one of our earliest French-style pieces and remains one of our most-coveted designs to this day.
Surrounded by towers of mango wood planks Sohan, a carpenter in the wood workshop, hand-selects the best pieces destined for the Lille armchair. Studying them, he visualises how many of the armchair’s parts can be cut out without wasting any of the wood. Once satisfied, he takes his collection of stencils and begins to trace. […]
“That’s when my friends and I play kabaddi,” he says, referring to the contact sport that originated in Ancient India and is now an internationally played game. “I’m pretty good at it.” He grins. “I’ve suffered minor bruises but that’s OK, it’s worth it. I’ll always take one for the team.”
The radio is playing in the background in the upholstery workshop. MD smiles, “I like pop music,” he says. “Indian pop music and even American pop music. I don’t understand the language but I like the tune, and the sound of the music. I like to sing too, but I’m not very good,” he grins. […]