Learning Story – Ishani of Barking Mad Studios
My first woodworking project was as a teenager on a project to create a pair of tribal masks. I remember that I used a jigsaw to cut the outlines. Even at the tender age of sixteen, I was quite comfortable with power tools, having grown up with them. My dad was the one who really passed on the bug to us. He used to build our family’s furniture as a hobby and allowed my brother and I to help him. In fact, the work became such an everyday part of my life that I used to think that woodworking was just a normal part of childhood. I guess, it’s no wonder then that at the young age of eight I used to dream of owning a saw-mill when I was older, just so that one day I could slice tree trunks exactly the way I wanted.
Today, as an adult, I admit that I don’t own a saw mill. But I do indeed handle tree-slices I every day. In fact, those are amongst our hottest selling products at Barking Mad Studios. As I grew older and decided to pursue design as an academic interest, it wasn’t woodwork design that I chose as my primary subject rather I studied ‘Retail and Exhibition Design.” But I guess that the sawdust I inhaled at an early age caught up with me and eventually I ended up in my true vocation as a professional woodworker.
One of my first projects as a professional woodworker was for my mom. She wanted a wall-clock, but being against plastic in principle, we wouldn’t allow a plastic clock to enter our house. However, wooden clocks were also not easily available… so I made one and then two more and then a dozen more as orders started pouring in from people who’d heard about the wooden clocks that we were handcrafting. By the time we crossed the hundred-clock mark our repeat customers were asking me to design new products which I had never thought I would ever make – name plates, chopping boards, shelves, tables, bar cabinets and even a sofa set.
Somewhere in the middle of all this unexpected madness, we decided to make our passion and venture formal and that is how, on the 1st of January 2019 Barking Mad Studios Pvt. Ltd. was established. In this venture I make new discoveries every single day. ‘Natural wood has grain’ was my first discovery and I have strived to bring out its beauty ever since. Another happy discovery I made, was that I am not alone. There are many men and women woodworkers, as passionate as I am, all over India and I am getting to know more and more of them every day. We are a close-knit community, we do not compete instead we thrive in co-operation.
My dream of owning a saw-mill is still on the horizon, but other than that I own all the tools a wood worker should have and some that she need not have. Come and visit “Barking Mad Studios” to know more about us!