Presenting a range of furniture from Prasad, a co-operative that emerged from the desire to mesmerize combining elegance with innovation and honouring natural raw wood. The brand is striving to bring nature to your home in a sustainable manner.
Prasad is a co-operative located in Bone Pukur Danga in Shantiniketan -‘the abode of peace’. The idea behind the brand is to render a solemn touch of nature to homes. They attempt to revive the old traditional skills in order to restore ecological balance and dignify the use of natural raw wood in the process.
Currently, the brand manufactures chairs, tables, coffee tables, benches, vases and hangers. However, since working with wood entails the procurement of materials from the market, they are considering an expansion with the development of new ideas like doors, windows and beds as well.
Talking about the inception of the brand, Pepe Zalba, the founder, says it began with him sharing his aesthetic sense and sensibility towards wood with his friends – Raju Ghosh, Shanku Bagdi and Lackiram Maddi which eventually went on to them designing the products together. Articulating on the design inspiration behind the products, Pepe Zalba says, “Basically we take a look at the wood, still as a log, and start questioning ourselves how we can we turn it into something appropriate for daily use while respecting it at the same time. We reflect on how its shape and size allows us to execute the task with the minimum intervention on the wood while maximising its qualities.”
The work begins with the initial effort of sourcing full trees and cutting them. They research and try to employ techniques that were used during pre-historic times with materials as natural as possible. The wood is adequately treated either with fire to increase the quality and with linseed oils and bee wax to preserve them.
The brand is community-based and highly regards local expertise as local craftsmen are the only suppliers. They are also committed to retaining the pieces neat and simple and minimising the use of nails and screws. The products are beautiful, detachable and easily transported. The brand pledges to ensure that the wood they use finds its way back to the ecosystem by engaging in reforestation activities in the area.
Pepe Zalba admits that the response to the products has been quite affirmative so far. People get surprised by the kind of furniture they come up with because of the rustic yet sophisticated feel that they generate. Interestingly, people from all walks of life have a very similar reaction to their products.
Their first piece was sold to a professor of a university from Canada who had come to visit Santiniketan for a conference. Moreover, their products have also found a place amongst the possessions of few famous designers too.
Text By Anindita Ganguly
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