Wood for thought.

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Wood for thought.

Calling themselves geeks with a passion for all things wooden, they totally love the texture and warmth of wood grain. That’s Saikat Saha and his team called ‘Woodgeek’ who turned their obsession with timber into creating cool products out of wood last year.

“In an era of mass-produced goods differentiated only by labels, we took a second look at the materials used to make these products and found our answer in wood. Our goal was to use the warmth of wood to create products which are personalised in nature. My family is in the plywood manufacturing business and the experience of working with timber in our factory helped in creating the products for ‘Woodgeek’,” says Saikat adding, “It started with an attempt to make a wooden diary as a replacement for the usual corporate diaries and calendars we gave out as gifts at the end of every year. Our first batch of wooden notebooks and sunglasses were made from plywood. They turned out to be crude and broke easily due to the thin plywood covers. They would also warp easily due to heat. This clearly wasn’t the desired result that I was looking for.”

A visit to a bamboo flooring factory got them interested in the possibility of making the diary cover out of thin bamboo panels. They worked closely with the Indian Plywood Industries Research & Training Institute to solve quality issues such as breakage and warping. “We were also introduced to digital fabrication using cnc routers, laser cutters and ultra-violet coating techniques. We used these tools to overcome earlier production issues and finally managed to create the products that we have today — bamboo notebooks, bamboo sunglasses and wooden phonecases,” he explains.

The items they create are quite innovative and look chic. The bamboo hard cover notebooks are crafted and engraved with one’s name, favourite quote or anything else they like. It serves as a notebook for jotting down ideas, creative doodling or as a personalised gift for a loved one. “Our notebooks use recycled paper and can be customised with any text or message. They come with a bamboo pen and a chic jute pouch,” says Saikat.

The sunglasses are handcrafted from pure bamboo and equipped with polarised UV lenses. “These are sunglasses re-imagined using sustainable natural materials making them light, eco-friendly and oh-so-cool! The bamboo frame is strong and lightweight while a UV coating gives the sunglasses a smooth finish and protects against moisture and rain.”

Lastly, there is a selection of wooden phone cases made from bamboo, walnut and rosewood; with the contrasting textures of wooden inlays and intricate patterns engraved on wood. They serve a dual purpose — adding a layer of protection as well as natural style to one’s smartphone. Saikat elaborates that they have focussed on bamboo as their main resource since this allows them to create items that are natural, sustainable and eco-friendly.

He states that the response has been encouraging so far, and it has given them the confidence to work on new products. “We have a small but enthusiastic team comprising Aritra Mazumdar, Abhinow Kumar, Subhadeep Saha and myself, supporting our online store, and the resources and network from the plywood manufacturing background helps create our products. We hope to bring our love for wood grain to many other products and we are excited about what the future has in store for us.”

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