14 July 2007

Cane Furniture



Through the good offices of Shantimalai Trust, Arumungam, our Cane and Bamboo Furniture Master was able to set up his own furniture business at Tiruvannamalai some years back. And now many people in the Ramana Nagar area have at least one piece of cane or bamboo furniture made at his workshop.






His current workshop is located in a busy residential area popular with Westerners during the busy season. But its not just the homes of Westerners that display his furniture, as the economical and aesthetic furniture is evident in homes and stores throughout the area.





The current rented premises used to be a primary school until the school became popular and over subscribed and eventually had to move to a larger facility. Eventually this quaint little house will be torn down and a hotel or boarding house put up in its place as this area is one of the most expensive spots in Tiruvannamalai.



In the next photo some nice hanging chairs waiting to be completed. Fortunately the prices of bamboo and cane furniture remains very reasonable and a hanging chair as below, when completed and lacquered, will cost around Rs.700/- (i.e. U.S.$18)





Arumungam has a variety of books of cane and bamboo furniture from all over the world. You pick the picture, agree the price and he can make you anything you wish for and some of his work is really wonderful.





He has both men and women working at his small shop and showroom, most of whom were trained by Arumungam.





As well as furniture, baskets, bowls and bric-a-brac, all sorts of household items are available for purchase at his showroom.





Recently Arumungam started a sideline of restoring and selling antique furniture bought in villages around the Tiruvannamalai District. Its a particularly advantageous business because much of the wood used in old furniture is now protected and cannot be used any longer. I got myself a beautiful antique Burma Teak wardrobe for just Rs.6,000 a purchase I was very satisfied with. Rather like the table and chairset in the below photograph . . . I wonder?




In the last photograph is Arumungam's wife who knows absolutely nothing about furniture making and enjoys staying in their home (attached to the showroom) looking after the needs of her husband and two young daughters.






Well at least Arumungam doesn't have much in the way of competition, his is the only cane and bamboo showroom in Tiruvannamalai!

1 comment:

Divya said...

Good for him, for using his skills to make beautiful and reasonably priced items, and lucky that there is no competition!