Sahaj: Vernacular Furniture of Gujarat

Sahaj: Vernacular Furniture of Gujarat


Authors: Mitraja Bais, Jay Thakkar, Samrudha Dixit, Ben Cartwright
Publisher: CEPT University Press
ISBN: 978-93-83184-16-3
Number of pages: 334
Language: English

The Gujarati term Sahaj can mean either ‘inherent’ or ‘intrinsic’, and this book introduces the everyday furniture that has been and still is made and used throughout Gujarat; whether that be a local household constructing a grain store from mud; a kharadi (woodturner) crafting the lacquered frame of a parnu (cradle); or a suthar or mistri (carpenter) creating the series of joints and complicated interlocking compartments in a majju (a large and ornate hope chest on wheels, decorated with carved wooden grills or inset glazed ceramic tiles). In Sahaj, alongside the everyday roles of the vernacular furniture pieces, the reader will find technical information, detailed plan drawings, and an overview of changes in the crafting and use of vernacular furniture across the different regions and communities of Gujarat, from the c.1900 to the present.

Sahaj is the result of the first-ever survey and accompanying research of vernacular furniture in Gujarat. Vernacular furniture is the traditional everyday furniture made and used by many different communities throughout the state. This book focuses on vernacular furniture in Gujarat from c.1900 to the present. Nearly 2000 furniture pieces and associated objects were recorded during the course of this research.  Sahaj is the result of Phase I: Gujarat of The Vernacular Furniture of North-West India project, a collaboration between the Design Innovation and Craft Resource Centre (DICRC) in collaboration with the South Asian Decorative Arts and Crafts Collection (SADACC) Trust, UK.