Meet Vincent Roy the man behind the famous furniture brand Wood’n Design – The New Indian Express

Express press service

India’s most sought-after furniture maker happens to be French! Meet Vincent Roy, who made Pondicherry his home a decade ago and has been crafting timeless mid-century pieces ever since using traditional Indian woodworking techniques.

Imagine a glass-topped wooden table with a jagged inlay of dark and light wood originally sourced from scraps. Or the colorful plastic cane is neatly woven into the upholstery of a sofa. Everything is possible when the creator is the furniture designer from Pondicherry Vincent Roy (35 years old).

Since its inception in 2013, his Wooden Design brand has become one of the most sought-after places in India for well-crafted wooden pieces. Its USP? Reclaimed wood. Roy primarily uses reclaimed Burmese teak from old colonial bungalows and Chettinad mansions, dating as far back as the 19th century. At the time, homes in South India used teak rafters as roof supports, especially for Madras brick roofs. This wood is not only well reinforced, but also well dried, which makes the furniture not only strong, but also durable.

Besides teak from Burma, Roy also uses other reclaimed woods like Indian laurel, hardwickia and jackfruit as well as new imported wood like oak, ash and walnut. New wood is primarily used for Vastu-prone customers who prefer unused wood. Roy’s repertoire ranges from chairs and lounge chairs to tables, cabinets, beds and even lamps. He also regularly creates bespoke pieces for the country’s top architects and designers, in addition to meeting a concurrent demand to furnish cafes, boutiques and consulates. Roy’s forte is mid-century furniture, and he explains, “This style is light and minimal, and goes well with old houses as well as modern apartments.

The style enjoys huge popularity all over the world as it is warm, comfortable, minimalist and timeless.
Now, this furniture could have been made anywhere, so why India? And why Pondicherry? Always fascinated by antiques, graphics and design details, Roy remembers that at the age of 20, he followed an apprenticeship in a furniture workshop in Paris.

A year later, he met the French carpenter Patrick Lafourcade, then living in Pondicherry. Eager to learn chair making from the master, Roy came here in 2008 to complete his apprenticeship. Once that was over, he moved to Australia, but soon realized that India, and more specifically Pondicherry, was where his heart was.

“Pondicherry was once a French colony and I learned this name during my childhood. Just the name of a city ending in ‘cerise’, which means ‘my love’ (darling) in French, is already charming enough to make you want to visit the place, isn’t it? he asks, adding, “Plus, it has some very unique features – we’re surrounded by the sea, the forest, a village and a town, all close by.”

Added to this is the diversity he found here – the eclectic community of locals and Tamilians as well as Aurovillians and Ashramites from all over India and the world. Almost everyone understands English, so it’s easier to communicate as well, he says. “The best part, however, is the high level of craftsmanship. I really appreciate how local artisans continue to keep their skills alive and pass them on to their families,” he says.

In the future, the cabinetmaker wants to work more with pure lines to give way to texture. “I want customers to feel, touch and feel our products. I also want to continue doing sustainable and sustainable design,” he concludes. (Wood’n Design products are retailed online at www.woodndesign.in and can also be purchased from their workshop in Pondicherry)

India’s most sought-after furniture maker happens to be French! Meet Vincent Roy, who made Pondicherry his home a decade ago and has been crafting timeless mid-century pieces ever since using traditional Indian woodworking techniques. Imagine a glass-topped wooden table with a jagged inlay of dark and light wood originally sourced from scraps. Or the colorful plastic cane is neatly woven into the upholstery of a sofa. Everything is possible when the creator is the furniture designer from Pondicherry Vincent Roy (35 years old). Since its inception in 2013, his Wooden Design brand has become one of the most sought-after places in India for well-crafted wooden pieces. Its USP? Reclaimed wood. Roy primarily uses reclaimed Burmese teak from old colonial bungalows and Chettinad mansions, dating as far back as the 19th century. At the time, homes in South India used teak rafters as roof supports, especially for Madras brick roofs. This wood is not only well reinforced, but also well dried, which makes the furniture not only strong, but also durable. Besides teak from Burma, Roy also uses other reclaimed woods like Indian laurel, hardwickia and jackfruit as well as new imported wood like oak, ash and walnut. New wood is primarily used for Vastu-prone customers who prefer unused wood. Roy’s repertoire ranges from chairs and lounge chairs to tables, cabinets, beds and even lamps. He also regularly creates bespoke pieces for the country’s top architects and designers, in addition to meeting a concurrent demand to furnish cafes, boutiques and consulates. Roy’s forte is mid-century furniture, and he explains, “This style is light and minimal, and goes well with old houses as well as modern apartments. The style enjoys huge popularity all over the world as it is warm, comfortable, minimalist and timeless. Now, this furniture could have been made anywhere, so why India? And why Pondicherry? Always fascinated by antiques, graphics and design details, Roy remembers that at the age of 20, he followed an apprenticeship in a furniture workshop in Paris. A year later, he met the French carpenter Patrick Lafourcade, then living in Pondicherry. Eager to learn chair making from the master, Roy came here in 2008 to complete his apprenticeship. Once that was over, he moved to Australia, but soon realized that India, and more specifically Pondicherry, was where his heart was. “Pondicherry was once a French colony and I learned this name during my childhood. Just the name of a city ending in ‘cerise’, which means ‘my love’ (darling) in French, is already charming enough to make you want to visit the place, isn’t it? he asks, adding, “Plus, it has some very unique features – we’re surrounded by the sea, the forest, a village and a town, all close by.” Added to this is the diversity he found here – the eclectic community of locals and Tamilians as well as Aurovillians and Ashramites from all over India and the world. Almost everyone understands English, so it’s easier to communicate as well, he says. “The best part, however, is the high level of craftsmanship. I really appreciate how local artisans continue to keep their skills alive and pass them on to their families,” he says. In the future, the cabinetmaker wants to work more with pure lines to give way to texture. “I want customers to feel, touch and feel our products. I also want to continue doing sustainable and sustainable design,” he concludes. (Wood’n Design products are retailed online at www.woodndesign.in and can also be purchased from their workshop in Pondicherry)


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