By Hand From The Heart is a biannual Makers Market held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Rajesh Bajaj is a man of many hats; besides a furniture restoration business he is a full-fledged professional photographer and an enthusiastic organic farmer. We catch up with Rajesh on his upcoming showcase at the By Hand From The Heart Makers Market. Lets find out more about his furniture venture…
What are you bringing to By Hand, From The Heart.
A mix of restored, repurposed furniture, lamps and clocks using a variety of materials and styles.
What type of wood do you prefer to use?
From the beginning of this venture we have made a commitment of either restoring solid wood furniture or creating new pieces using only repurposed wood that otherwise would have ended up in junkyard. Part of our venture is communicating the resilience and durability of the wood we use – not only is solid wood beautiful but also very hard (some pieces we have restored have outlived three generations of its owners).
What would you most like to make that you haven’t made so far?
Art deco period furniture, furniture inspired by Dutch and Japanese culture and to top it off … our favorite at the moment “steampunk”
What are some common issues you face when it comes to restoring furniture?
Getting people to understand the value of the furniture we sell. the difference between second-hand furniture and fully restored pieces. deficit in the appreciation and understanding of hand craftsmanship versus mass factory made furniture.
Do you do anything else aside from woodwork?
Don’t get me started 🙂 Right now we are totally enthused with the setup and creation of our integrated farm in Veppancheri. Our farm practices natural farming where we watch nature do its magic with a little help from humans in partnership with plants, cows, hens and fish. We use no chemicals or any artificial substances in our farm – which is a mix of permaculture, Vedic farming, traditional local practices with an experimental mix of methods practiced by other cultures like native Americans ( eg. “three sisters” method of growing corn, beans and melons together in “companionship farming.) we try to avoid monoculture type of farming, and in the coming years will showcase a farm that not only is self-sustaining but also one which is a celebration of the diversity of food that nature provides. A seed bank where we preserve heirloom non GMO varieties and provide to other farms is also in the mix. Did you know that India produces only 5% of the ragi crop we used to grow in 1985-86? there is an urgent need for our culture to take a long hard look at the nutrition choices we have made.
From photography, farming & carpentry. Tell us what’s your typical working day, like?
The diversity in these ventures keeps us creatively fresh since no two days are the same. The amount of learning we have to do is sometimes intimidating. If you can mix disorientation with exhilaration and find a name for that composite emotion, please let us know!
You have participated in an earlier edition of BHFTH what was the BHFTH experience?
Totally enjoyed it… met a lot of wonderful, creative, motivating people. Its nice to know that we are not the only crazy people in the universe.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten along the way in building your business?
Work on our marketing and networking skills.
Rajesh Bajaj of Kairasi, Chennai, will be at the By Hand From The Heart: MAKERS MARKET – 18th Edition
Friday – Saturday, 5th – 6th August, 2016
10:00 a.m – 8:00 p.m
Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park
132, T.T.K Road, Alwarpet, Chennai – 600018, Tamil Nadu. India