Don’t we all like the smell of earth when it rains for the first time during the season or when raindrops touch the earth on a scorching day? Well, petrichor, the earthy scent that is produced when rain falls on dry soil, makes each one of us yearn for monsoons.
This love for smell made Shiraz Mehta a self-taught woodworker. To him, the smell of sawdust is intoxicating. In fact, he has spent a decade in Kodaikanal, mastering the various techniques of the woodwork to finally come up with his own.
The 59-year-old who started woodwork as a hobby a decade ago has recently started his own Instagram page and launched Shiraz Mehta Studio in Trimulgherry. His furniture and wood artifacts are so sublime that they are a delight to one’s eyes. The beauty of them is such that they take you into a meditative trance.
Shiraz has his signature style when it comes to work. He uses intricate, all-wood inlay techniques and marquetry to make artifacts. He explains that in his technique, different pieces of wood of different species are arranged and stuck together to form a single piece that is then turned into a piece of craft. While the final design pattern depends on his mood, he is mostly known for his geometric patterns. Shiraz shares that he can never make two similar pieces.
The woodworker sources his wood from all over. He gets Wenge wood from Africa, which he points out is one of the best hardwoods in the world. He gets White Oak from Canada, apart from Black Walnut and Maple. But his all-time favorites are pine and teakwood.