With love, from Mirpurkhas
By: Saadia Qamar
KARACHI: Vada, a Sindhi word for carpenter, is a project initiated by brothers Abdul Jabbar Gull and Abdul Sattar, who have carried on their ancestral wood-work with a modern twist. Exclusivity in furniture designs is the focus of the designer brothers, whose workers are based in Mirpurkhas. Vada Furniture is back in Karachi, exhibiting their unique designs at Koel Gallery.
At the opening of their show on Wednesday evening, Sattar said, “I thought I should somehow continue this family craft and opted to join this field of designing professionally. With this plan in mind, I started Vada Furniture with my elder brother almost four years ago.”
With craftsmanship in their blood and originality in their taste, Jabbar and Sattar have made waves in the furniture market in the last few years. Jabbar, the elder brother, is a certified artist from National College of Arts (NCA); whereas Sattar has earned a degree in Communication Design from Indus Valley School of Arts and Architecture (IVSAA). The duo dream of going back to their roots.
Vada Furniture pieces cannot be defined completely as work of thorough-bred carpenters, (though they call themselves Sindhi carpenters); there is an artistic style in designing the wood, that makes their tables or chairs. Some look like sculpture pieces, others fine art decorative objects. The duo ensure their furniture lasts through generations because they work with only seasoned wood, sheesham, and use epoxy glue for joints.
Although wood-work is second nature to them, the brothers desire to explore further into the designing aspect. They felt that too many were crafting the same kind of furniture in Mirpurkhas, which gave them the idea of creating their pieces in a special way. Sattar attributes his originality to their detailing style. “A fine blends of solid sheesham wood that we use with brass detailing which is used in its inlay work and the nails used for joinery. That’s how I would define our signature style,” he said.
Displayed at the gallery are either chairs or tables, mostly coffee tables and corner tables, pieces which seemed to be greatly appreciated by the crowd that had gathered. Sattar says, “Coffee table demands are placed most often, since people believe they have an artistic value attached to them.”
“I am better known as a sculptor in Pakistan; but my family business is wood furniture, which I thought should move forward,” said Jabbar.
For Jabbar, carvings and engravings into his wood-work come from the constant changing circumstances in life. His style is packed with personal expression, which makes the furniture pieces incomparable to the rest. Jabbar says they are designing furniture for homes, from dining table sets to complete bedroom sets.
The Vada Furniture exhibition will continue at the Koel Gallery in Clifton till the evening of October 11.
Table: Rs4, 000 to Rs55,000
(Depending on the size)
Chairs: Rs3, 000 to Rs8,000