"13th International Trade Fair for Furniture Production Technologies, Woodworking Machinery, Tools, Fittings, Accessories, Raw Materials and Products"
India’s most sought-after furniture maker happens to be French! Meet
Vincent Roy, who made Puducherry his home about a decade ago, and
has since been crafting timeless mid-century pieces using traditional
Indian woodworking techniques.
Picture a glass-topped wooden table with a jagged inlay of dark and light
wood originally sourced from scraps. Or colourful plastic cane is
seamlessly woven into the upholstery of a sofa. All is possible when the
creator is Puducherry-based furniture designer Vincent Roy (35).
Since its inception in 2013, his brand Wooden Design has evolved into one
of India’s most sought-after places for well-crafted wooden pieces. Its
USP? Reclaimed wood. Roy mainly uses reclaimed Burma teak sourced
from old Colonial bungalows and Chettinad mansions, dating as far back
as the 19th century. Back then, houses in south India used teak rafters as
roof supports, especially for Madras brick roofs. This timber is not only well
strengthened, but also well-seasoned, making the furniture not just strong,
but sustainable as well.
Besides Burma teak, Roy also uses other reclaimed wood like Indian laurel,
hardwickia and jackwood as well as new imported timber such as oak,
ash and walnut. The new wood is mostly used for Vastu-inclined clients
who prefer unused wood. Roy’s repertoire ranges from chairs and
loungers to tables, cabinets, beds and even lamps. He also routinely
creates custom pieces for top architects and designers in the country,
besides catering to a simultaneous demand to furnish cafes, boutiques
and consulates. Roy’s forte is mid-century furniture, and he explains, “This
style is light and minimal, and goes equally well in old houses as well as
The style enjoys huge popularity all over the world because it’s warm,
cosy, minimal and timeless.”
Now, this furniture could have been crafted anywhere, so why India? And
why Puducherry? Always passionate about antiques, graphics and design
details, Roy recalls that at age 20, he took up an apprenticeship at a
furniture workshop in Paris.
A year later, he met French carpenter Patrick Lafourcade, who was then
settled in Puducherry. Keen to learn chair-making from the master, Roy
came here in 2008 to complete his apprenticeship. Once that was
complete, he moved to Australia, but soon realised that India, and
specifically Puducherry, was where his heart was.
“Puducherry was once a French colony and I learned about this name
during my childhood. Just the name of a city ending with ‘cherry’, which
means ‘my love’(chérie) in French, is already charming enough to make
you want to visit the place, is it not?” he asks, adding, “Plus, it has very
unique characteristics— we are surrounded by sea, forest, village and a
city, all within close proximity.”
Added to that was the diversity he found here––the eclectic community
of locals and Tamilians as well as the Aurovillians and Ashramites who
came from all over India and across the world. Mostly everyone
understands English, so it is easier to communicate as well, he says. “The
best part though is the high standard of craftsmanship.I really appreciate
how local artisans continue to keep their skills alive and pass them on to
their families,” he says.
In future, the cabinet-maker wants to work more with pure lines to leave
space for texture.” I want the customers to experience, touch and feel our
products. I also want to continue making sustainable and durable
design,” he concludes. (Wood’n Design products are retailed online at
www.woodndesign.in and can also be purchased from their workshop in
Source: The New Indian Express