Life & Style

World Wood Day: 6 Indian artists using wood to create everything from artefacts to toys

Dancing Gods @ Indian Elephant

Launched in 2021 to support artisans affected by the first wave of COVID-19, the Hyderabad-based Indian elephant prides itself on its quirky creations that depict mythological and folk characters: Surabhi, a white cow, the Ambra elephant, and Don Sher, others. ,

His latest collection of dancing deities (upwards of ₹600) is a tribute to the divine, says founder Kripananda Karthik Rambhakta, who works with around 60 artisans from the craft community of Atikoppaka in Andhra Pradesh, who make their own Famous for lacquer ware toys. The craft, locally known as Lakka Bommalu. About the collection launched in collaboration with Bengaluru-based store Greenhouse, he says, “From the most unassuming Ganesha to Vishnu and Lakshmi, the stories, myths and symbolic representations of these deities have been an intangible part of our lives since childhood. ”

'Veera' earrings by Indian Elephant.

‘Veera’ earrings by Indian Elephant. , Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Also a part of their new launch is a range of earrings (above Rs 350). Kripanand explains how a skilled craftsman can chisel and assemble each piece within an hour, but “the meticulous part of the production is the hand painting and fine detailing of the various facial features which usually takes up to six hours”. He further added, “We are working with various independent storytellers and illustrators across the country to create a range of mythological storytelling books and activities, and we look forward to launching our website and launching our products across various stores in South India. We are also looking to expand our offline presence through…

@indianhaathi is on Instagram

Custom Caricature @ Ulta Pulta Design

Creations by Ulta Pulta Design.

Creations by Ulta Pulta Design. , Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Launched in 2015, Piyusha Singhvi of Jaipur-based Ulta Pulta Designs is fascinated by the complexities of life and “simplifies them by creating quirky products that bring joy”. The artist works with a variety of mediums such as wood, paper, trash cans (match boxes, phone cases), and fabric to create hand-painted and illustrated wood plates, art prints, collectibles, and block-printed apparel. A wooden collection based on Rajasthan’s famous puppetry craft – kath ki (meaning, of wood) – and quirky clay idols of gods and goddesses are launching this month. “We are also planning to launch a range of hand-painted wooden plates, which will be available for sale from July,” says Piyusha.

A creation by Ulta Pulta Designs.

A creation by Ulta Pulta Designs. , Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Above ₹200. @ultapultadesigns on Instagram

Variation @ Custom Decor

Known for its functional coffee tables, dining tables, chairs, wooden upholstered sofas, etc. crafted from salvaged wood, Aakriti Kumar believes all her products are “inspired by nature in some way “. If not in its physical appearance—the topographic coffee table is inspired by terrace farming in the Himalayas—then certainly in the natural feel and texture of the wood, she says. For example, the way she emphasizes the rings of a tree’s annual growth or the live edge (the natural curve of trees and branches) of planks cut from a fallen tree stump.

Aakriti explains how, pre-lockdown, the Difference team worked with interior designers, architects as well as home owners to custom-make wood products for residential and commercial projects. “It took a turn towards a bigger project – the development of holiday homes in the Himalayas. Currently, all the products we are making are to furnish those cabins, however, we have piecemeal designs at our studio in New Delhi. has an inventory where customers can pick up finished pieces,” she says, adding that their manufacturing shifted to Uttarakhand in 2020. “Where we have better access to raw materials – trees felled from neighboring forests in UP and Uttarakhand”.

Chandelier by Diferniture.

Chandelier by Diferniture. , Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Taking us through the process of finding lumber, Aakriti researches and finds areas that have lumber deemed “waste” and put it up for auction. “Then I go out to look for lumber that I can use in my furniture, and I also recycle discarded wood from shipping containers, byproducts of the automotive industry, as well as old wood from the floorboards of homes. I use the best kind that they have. Naturally seasoned and ready to use,” says the designer, who is also working on villas in Goa.

Above ₹ 18,000 at

Watch , Deaf craftsman carves pieces of wood worth lakhs

Tabletop Accessories @ The Beehive India

The Rooster Table by The Beehive India

The Rooster Table by The Beehive India | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The New Delhi-based design studio, which works with indigenous species of wood such as neem, acacia (from Alwar, Rajasthan), Ghana teak, and paduk (from Africa) to create tabletop furnishings and furniture, is rooted in Indian crafts. Founder Pankaj Narayan, who has been studying bird forms to make 2D wood, says, “Our main philosophy was to study and inspect every piece of wood closely, and let the wood be the product rather than dictating the product. had to be allowed to determine the form.” Artifacts. “It was an interesting experience to combine a specific color of wood with a suitable color in the body of the bird. Once we get the artefacts from Mysore (where the marquetry work is done), we can make them into tables, trays or wall panels. Mounted on a solid wood base to transform,” he explains. Other products from the Beehive India catalog include trays, boxes, napkin and cutlery holders, cutting boards and cheese serving platters. The furniture range, he says, includes dining Tables, chairs, beds, wardrobes and more are included.

Qutub Flower Coaster by The Beehive India.

Qutub Flower Coaster by The Beehive India. , Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

After the completion of the Bird series, Pankaj says he will design furniture cabinets using bird inlays as front panels, and would also like to explore Kashmir’s famous pinjrakari art to develop a range of furniture. “We are in the process of finalizing product ideas. We love playing with grain, color, lines, and textures to create wall art.”

Above ₹2,500 at

Gond Art @ Earthen Wire

From coasters and paintings to cotton tote bags and stationery, Preeti Thakur’s brand is a personal ode to “India’s traditional art forms”, especially Gond art. “I find vibrant colors and seemingly simple shapes such as dots, dashes and curves mesmerizing,” says the New Delhi-based artist. Tribal communities of Madhya Pradesh

A wooden wall plate by earth wire.

A wooden wall plate by earth wire. , Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“Each plate has intricate motifs such as animals, birds and trees, which are brought to life with warm, earthy colors of ochre, red and green,” she adds, “The wood is sourced from small business units in Uttar Pradesh. comes from, and each piece usually takes me two to three days to complete”

Plates above ₹1500. @earthen-strings on Instagram.

Channapatna Toys @ Toy Trunk

Launched in April 2021 by Priyanka Mangaonkar-Vayude and Ajay Vaidya, the start-up aims to connect children with no screen time, to champion Channapatna-based artisans who make functional toys out of wood. Co-founder Priyanka says her latest launches include Montessori bowls, threading shapes, lacing beads, kitchen sets and rope stilts.

Kitchen set by Toy Trunk.

Kitchen set by Toy Trunk. , Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

“The threading shape and lacing beads are for preschoolers that help develop finger muscles and hand-eye coordination. Through our rope stilts, children learn to move, balance and lift their bodies against gravity as well as develop whole-body co-ordination,” she says, adding that an exercise designed to develop imagination in children A stacking toy and a folding busy board for kids as young as three are up.

Toys by Toy Trunk.

Toys by Toy Trunk. , Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

While the artisans of the Maharashtra-based brand in Channapatna traditionally use ivory wood (known locally as hale wood) to make the toys, they are now using neem wood (known locally as Gouda neem known), beech wood and rubber wood, and work with other varieties. Use non-toxic colours. “Turmeric is sometimes also known as indigo powder for yellow, blue, and dark red cosmetic powder kum kumfor orange and red.

Above Rs.390 at


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