Saturday, 15 August 2009

Day 90-91 - Busy Banjarans

continue from Day 88 Pt 2...

OUR BANJARANS had gone about preparing for their enterprise very swiftly. Under the able leadership of the Rollas, it soon became clear that the gypsy co-operative is a force to be reckoned with. Everything they make is prettier, trickier, sturdier. Cleverer in using material, the able men and women seem to be able to convert any kind of trash into something priceless. Or at least, less trashy. Maharajah Ranjit Singh should be worried. In fact, he should be sh*tting bricks right at this moment. AND knowing the Banjarans, they will probably be able to use those bricks to build a palace!

You may recall that this all started because a palace spy had stolen Ro's recipe for retro reticules. Rolla, who subscribe to the "tit-for-tat, kill my dog, I'll kill your cat" epistemology, (although the truth is the Rollas can never kill anything. In fact, Mr. Rolla still feels remorse for a guinea pig that he strangled from too much hugging at the age of 5) has decided to launch a similar industrial espionage. And with notably beautiful girls in their midst, it was easy-peasey.

Remember the Indian Side Table for Ranjit Singh? It was of course Sans! One of her earlier pieces commissioned by the ex-Maharajah. Now, Ro's father, whom everyone calls OM ("Old Man") (Rosanna, please feel free to suggest otherwise, audience participation is always welcomed) is one of the best carpenters in Rajasthan. Upon studying the side table, he promptly crafted a rosewood version using the same method prescribed by Sans! Instead of merely 4 panels for the base, OM had used 5. Instead of the heavier end pieces of the fan, he had used the top part of the fretwork wood which although filmsier, had more intricate designs. To compensate, he used 3 pieces for each panel. The carved table top is one of a pair of ear-rings bought for a few cents.

The decision was unanimous! The rosewood side table (1 1/2" high, 1 1/2" wide tabletop) is more beautiful, sturdier and better in many ways. As such, it is to be put to a more important use as well.

It will grace Ganesh and Ro's precious gold plated tableware which she has kept for a long long time. Ro smiled as she remembered that fateful meeting with Jai many moons ago. She had packed these tableware in another bag for Jai but in his excitement over the pillow and bolster, he had completely forgotten about them. Just as well, Ro thought. Using the gold pieces, Rolla had crafted beautiful bowls (ranging from 1/4"- 1") for offerings to Ganesh. Now for some of you more sharp-eyed than most, you must be wondering what that white little piece in one of the plates is. No, no, it is not Buddha's tooth but the tiniest macaron (less than 1/4" ) in the world, made by RoSanNa. ( Thank you, my dear ).

It has come a full circle, Ro thought as she carefully arranged the altar table and placed the little macaron into a little bowl for Ganesh. Even back then, Jai had already mentioned that I should start my own shop. Wonder how he is now? I must invite him to our opening, I am sure he will be proud.

Not only did OM outdo Sans! Even OTT ("over the top") Booby rose [sic] to the occasion and weaved this basket out of broken pottery (2 1/2" high and width for base)

Using S$2 ribbons and resin roses, this may be considered by some as a clever way of converting trash to "high trash" but surely OTT must appreciate "Tres Chic" is not the same as "Trash Kitcsh".

OTT had made a pot in her image and thought it far better than the one made by Sans!

And bless anyone who has the gumption to compare her pot with Sans! Oh please, Booby will protest as she rudely pushes you aside, what good is a basket fit only for snakes and dry leaves? NOW, look at what mine does

Can she beat this, that Sans! ? Indeed, she can't, everyone reluctantly agrees.

That is not all, for what is a shop without display tables? And so, OM made one by copying the process for the carpet chairs invented by Sans!

Now even OM will admit that the carpet chairs are hard to beat. So he had to come up with something clever. First he used better quality material. The blue and gold damask ribbon used for the top was bought in India. The lace for the side is S$2 dyed "antique gold". Oriental beads with butterfly, grapes and flower relief were used for the legs. The table tops were bigger pieces of the wooden base for the dolls.

OM built 2 tables, one higher (2 wooden base instead of 1, 5" length, 2 7/8" wide, 1 7/8" tall) than the other by a slab. Now at 1st glance, these tables look fairly ordinary. In fact, the print on the damask may be regarded by some purists (like SuZ) as too big. The beauty of this piece is not however, in its form but functions .

Display Table

Coffee Table


(where you can keep unsightly things underneath the table)

(here is OM posing in his 2nd favourite position)

Chaise Lounge
(OM in his all time favourite pose)

OM has named this "A 6 in 1" and has dedicated it to all of you who love function over form. Tell me, those of you who love function over form, can you truly resist "A 6 in 1"?

I don't know but I think Rolla and Ro will give The Emperor's Emporium a good run for its money.


rosanna said...

OM will be very pleased of being mentioned. What shall I say ? you have work fast and good and your tables are very fit for your palace and I'm happy that you have put the golden ornaments to good use. I love the little caskets on n.4 table, Did you buy them in Little India? they are wonderful!I lov ethe idea of using tha fan panels, they are both delicate and sturdy looking.
BTW I could never ever kill a cat...but stump on somebody's feet...YES!Big hugs and thank you for your story

Sans said...

I have to tell you this, Rosanna, our beads shop here does not have the ornaments in that brilliant gold. The ones you gave me are very shiny :) and very good for an altar table. Those little boxes are bought from the gift shop. Do you remember the day I posted about the little origami cranes and I mentioned in the post that there were other products but not worth mentioning? Well, the boxes are the other products.

I seriously don't think you have the heart to kill anything. By the way, Rolla is Walter :). Can he kill a cat?

Liberty Biberty said...

LOVE 'A 6 in 1'. Could do with a real one of those here! ALso love the tres chic basket!

Sans said...

LOL Mercedes, OTT will be so pleased with you. :)

rosanna said...

Walter likes to play the bossy boot and sometimes he can be quite annoying... but he could never kill any living beeing.He still feels remorse for a guinea pig that he strangled for too much hugging at the age of 5.He likes to think at himself as a tough guy but he is as soft as butter. The kindest man I have ever met, part from Dad of course!!

Pubdoll said...

I love the 6 in 1 too!
I'm sure it won't take long before they have become just as "to die for" popular as the world known hookahs by Sans!
OM's sidetable looks great too (very nice paint job) and he looks so comfy in the last picture!

Sans said...

Thank you, Helene :). OM likes to take his own sweet time with each piece so I don't know if the supplies for "6 in 1" can ever match that of the hookah .lol. Also the ribbons used are from India so it is a bit tough to replicate that too.

On the paint job, it's a bold attempt (and 1st) to try to distress the wood to look like aged Indian rosewood. It turned out looking like Chinese rosewood lol. FaiZ bought some rosewood cabinets from Pakistan and they have all been attacked by termites and one of them was even dismantled. But I swear, the rosewood still look pristine and has not aged at all.

Sans said...

LOL!! That guinea pig story is so funny I had to use it, Rosanna, so yes, I have edited the story (after the tit for tat comment)..hahaha. Thank you and my dear, you are a lucky woman, and he, the luckiest man :).

Ara said...

"they will probably be able to use those bricks to build a palace" haha - Sans - you crack me up!!!! Your new projects are just lovely!!! You can't beat a 6-in-1!!! -ara

Snowfern said...

man i love the multi-functional stuff, i try my best to incorporate it in all my furniture too, yours is hard to beat 6-in-1??? phew!

Sans said...

Ara, you were offline for a while :), thought you were having comp problems again. You know how it is with items that are not so pretty, you make it up with functions.

Cindy, I am following your blog and dying to know what happened at the STGCC. I must go check out all your multi functional items as well.

Texas Belle said...

Do we really have to choose between form and function? I think your table/hutch/chase/etc. has both! (I don't think the print is too big, btw.) All your other creations look great, too (my, you have been busy this week, lol!).

Sans said...

Aww, its really sweet of you to say so , Belle :). It's my sis' reaction when I first showed her the 6 in 1. Of course then , it was just "the display tables". Her cries of "eeeeeks" have haunted me since! We both were ambivalent about this particular ribbon even in India at the Delhi shop. Obviously she still didn't like it.

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