Some of us inherit homes stacked with objets d’art, each telling a story of a time gone by; and those who are not as fortunate are often seen pottering around old haunts to set their eyes upon prized heirloom pieces cast away in the absence of inheritors. It is for the latter lot of crafts aficionados that Indranil Banerjie, owner of Banerjies, creates exceptional articles crafted from wood.
Banerjie, a researcher specialising on national security and political risk issues, writes for various online and offline journals and newspapers.
Banerjie started his career as a journalist with The Telegraph, following which he worked for India Today and NDTV, among others. In the 1990s, he started a think tank focused on national security issues and area studies.
That was one part of his calling. Indranil’s dormant creative ideas were struck to animation when he travelled all over the world and became interested in woodwork.
“I always wanted to do something creative with my hands but never had the opportunity,” said Indranil, emphasising that making a living was a priority. At times when he did foray into woodworking, lack of finances and know-how became a setback.
The desire to create never died down and was roused by his visits to other countries, especially the United States of America, where Indranil came in touch with people who appreciated decorative arts, including furniture and cabinetry. “After seeing some of the masterpieces of woodworking in New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Moscow and London, I knew I was smitten,” said Indranil describing his creative process.
His brand, Banerjies, based in Greater Noida, is dedicated to creating handcrafted wooden heirlooms that bear an old-world charm.
“I am influenced greatly by the aesthetic of the 18th century and our ancient craftsmen who created some of the finest wooden objects,” he said. “There is much that one can take from the past and adapt to create exquisite objects. It is my way of preserving some of the long-forgotten traditions.”
Banerjie’s creations are utilitarian but project a vintage aura.
The Mantel Clocks—crafted out of Padauk, Teak, Sheesham, Ash and Maple, and finished with either Shellac or Polyurethane—hark back to 18th century European classics.
The Darjeeling Tea Caddie is the perfect buy for a tea lover. It is a functional yet gorgeous case to store different kinds of teas, and can be made from wood of your choice: Ash, Padauk, Teak, Sheesham, Maple. The piece is completed with a polish of Tung oil, Shellac or Polyurethane.
Other notable pieces from his lot are wall cabinets, pen boxes, cutlery cases, tool chests, tables and jewellery boxes.
Utility, aesthetics, construction, the quality of wood used and the final finish are predominant considerations before a buyer sets out to make a purchase, observed Indranil.
The articles can be custom ordered and the products take up to three weeks to make.