Phantom Hands

Retailer/Store/Showroom BANGALORE / India

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Phantom Hands VC 0
Phantom Hands VC
Phantom Hands, established in 2013, makes handcrafted, design-driven contemporary furniture. Our workshop in Bangalore, India is an ecosystem of skilled carpenters, wood polishers, cane weavers, upholsterers and tailors from craft communities across the country. We work with wood, fabrics, cane, metal, etc. and collaborate with furniture and textiles designers to create collections that build on the heritage of Indian craftsmanship and design. Our name 'Phantom Hands' is an homage to the legacy of these past artisans whose contributions manifest in each piece we make.

Evolution

We started as a monthly catalog of curated vintage objects, a hobby project of our founders. In our quest to find past objects of quality craftsmanship we stumbled onto design histories highlighting the cosmopolitan modernism that defined the early years of independent India. Our natural inclination was towards furniture with an aesthetic that was not ornate; in which simplicity, clean lines, proportions and logic of construction stood out. Predictably, we soon encountered modernist furniture made for the city of Chandigarh in the 1950’s. Our fascination with it sparked the idea of remaking them. After much thought, and investigations into its authorship claims, we finally took the plunge.

Raw materials and quality

We embrace the possibilities offered by hand crafting but are particular about maintaining our quality standards. For each batch of production, wood is carefully selected and cut according to our reference templates. Then the pieces are shaped, sanded and, finally, assembled. Each stage of our carpentry process is templated, every piece of our furniture subjected to continuous checks for design consistency.
A variety of fabrics - velvets, woollens, cotton, linen and silk - are used in the upholstered chairs and sofas we make. For each model we make, we specially calibrate high resistance polyurethane foam in a combination of densities, so as to ensure optimum ergonomic comfort and durability. Top quality sewing and foam cutting machines are complimented by hand sewing and other manual craft practices in our production process.
In addition to fabric and wood, we also use cane in the making of furniture, which we take in the north eastern part of India. Cane is obtained by peeling flat strips from the outer edges of rattan reeds. Cane is a resilient natural material and our handcrafted cane seats and backs can last for several years without sagging with proper usage.

Collaborations

Our first ever collection, Project Chandigarh, was launched in May 2015. Having started with three chair models, the collection has expanded to re-editions of several pieces of furniture designed for the city of Chandigarh under the guidance of Swiss architect Pierre Jeanneret.
Since 2017, we have collaborated with designers such as Milan based Inoda+Sveje, Amsterdam based x+l and Glasgow based Derek Welsh to create collections of original design. These draw inspiration from the form and philosophy of Indian Modernism that originated in Chandigarh, and an exploration of the possibilities that traditional Indian craft offers.
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