Traditionally, wood polishing is a specialised function in India, distinct from carpentry. Communities that practice wood polishing it tend to make their living painting interiors. Several of our wood polishers are from a single family - originally from Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh.
Like our carpenters and cane weavers, our polishers prefer to sit on the floor, on slightly elevated wooden platforms that they make for themselves.
On the left, chairs lined up for cane weaving after the first round of polishing. On the right, chairs awaiting a final coat of polishing after cane weaving.
Putty is applied to cover small holes and crevices that are natural to wood, and excess putty is removed with the help of thin metal strips.
After their seats and backs are woven with cane, our chairs are sanded and a final coat of polish and sealer applied. The process of weaving can cause slight dents to appear in the wood - these are removed by painstakingly sanding what is often a very small area.
We keep updating the paint and polish materials we use so as to make our products more eco-friendly and safe for our artisans and our customers. For instance, we have moved away from polyurethane paints to to water based finishes.
Wood samples in black finish being prepared for sending out to our dealers and potential customers.
The process for our black finish involves several steps of sanding, applying putty and an epoxy coat by hand. This is followed by spray painting the chair with a water based black paint.
Samples of different shades and finishes prepared for prototyping experiments.
Being able to rotate the chair and access every nook and crevice allows our polishers to make sure that every part of the chair is finished perfectly.