WHO WE ARE
Phantom Hands is an Artisan Collective of traditional woodworkers, cane weavers, upholsterers, etc from different parts of India. We make handcrafted furniture based on mid century modern and contemporary design.
Our name 'Phantom Hands' is a metaphor for the craftsmen who contribute to the perfection of each piece of furniture. In a sense, each object is a culmination of centuries of craftsmanship and skills, passed on from generation to generation. That kind of refinement of a single handcrafted object hardly exists anymore.
At our core, we are about unrelenting commitment to and celebration of fine Indian craftsmanship that is now becoming extinct and upholding these standards in a contemporary world where the economic and cultural landscape make it very challenging to do so.
Phantom Hands was founded in 2013 as an online store for vintage furniture and antiques from India. We curated objects in which quality craftsmanship and attention to detail stood out, both in the design and the making of the object. We loved furniture with an aesthetic that was not ornate and where simplicity, clean lines, proportions and logic of construction stood out.
Along the way we discovered modern Indian furniture design stories such as Chandigarh's mid-century modern furniture created by Pierre Jeanneret and others in the 1950s, Art Deco furniture from 1960s Bombay, George Nakashima influenced furniture in Ahmedabad as well as the creations of many individual architects and designers for specific projects. With our family heritage of furniture making that goes back over 45 years, the opportunity to apply traditional Indian craftsmanship to preserve and enhance these iconic furniture designs became more compelling everyday.
We launched our first collection, Project Chandigarh, in May 2015. Our re-editions of Chandigarh furniture embody the furniture philosophy of the designers who created them – that it should handcrafted by local craftsmen, that the maker should re-edit it as per their judgement, it should be elegant yet functional, modernist yet robust, and made using seasoned local hardwoods like teak and rosewood.
Deepak was the founding partner of Viedea Capital, a financial advisory firm for internet and digital media startups before starting Phantom Hands. Prior to that he has worked in the technology industry in India and U.K for several years. Phantom Hands evolved as as a platform to combine his interests in vintage furniture, design, history and the digital world.
Sumanth is our master furniture maker and carpentry expert. He was the owner of a bespoke furniture-making firm called Woodrose for nearly 40 years before he retired to an idyllic life on his coffee plantation in Coorg. He was coaxed out of retirement to oversee the furniture-making processes and mentor our craftsmen.