As a 10 year-old, Karan Bakshi got his first lesson in refurbishing furniture while observing his father (who was in the Indian Army) and uncle working on furniture. Soon, he developed a passion for it and looked forward to the challenge of up-cycling age-old furniture and getting to realise its potential.
His interest persisted even after he finished his Post Graduation in Computer Science from Melbourne University. Today, the 31-year-old works as a full-time graphic designer while also running Artfeat Designs, a brand that re-purposes and up-cycles mass-produced products, to develop edgy, quirky and functional products. He designs prototypes at his Gurgaon-based home, which are then handed over to artisans to execute. Spurred by the response so far he plans to open his studio by the year-end.
So far, Artfeat products have been displayed at exhibitions in New Delhi. This weekend, the online brand moves to Mumbai to participate in the F.A.T aka Finders and Takers Bazaar. The bazaar will also feature bags, painted wine bottles, books and T-shirts with beer and music playing through the weekend.
Some of his innovative products include Record Keeper journals made from vinyl records and floppy discs, door latches that have been reborn as paper weights, wine racks made from pitchforks, Plumber De’Light table lamps made from old pipes, vinyl record clocks with images of John Lennon, Bob Dylan and Rolling Stones, a coffee table made from a sewing machine, bar stools made out of bicycle seats and a chair made from the front bumper of a scooter.
“When people learned about my passion, they started giving me their floppy drives or old lamps. I would consider it a challenge to think up new uses for it and I let my creativity take over. Behind this was the vision that one object can metamorphose into several other things,” said Bakshi, who admits to borrowing concepts at times from the Internet as well.
Quiz him about his inspiration and he shares that he is clueless about what sets him going. While he doesn’t produce his products in bulk, he updates his product list with 3-4 innovations every few months. Working on varied surfaces, Bakshi has often had hits as well misses — “I was planning to create coasters out of records but had to improvise when the coasters turned out to be too large.”