My name is Sahaj Ghose. I’m 30 years old and was born in Darjeeling. I enjoy listening to music, gardening and reading. One of the books I read recently is The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
I have also always enjoyed creating with my hands. Feeling the material underneath my fingertips and understanding how my designs are best constructed is very important to me. So, I left my job as an industrial designer to create handcrafted items with one of my favorite materials: leather.
I hope my handcrafted items will be handed down to the next generation.
Having my own shop has given me many things. It started out with having creative independence in what I create. Moreover, now my shop gives me the liberty to work on details. Furthermore, I am able to understand and appreciate where the material comes from.
When I am working on the edges and the final finishing of my handcrafted items, the work becomes repetitive. But you have to keep looking at what you’re doing and sense the outcome of every move you make. It makes you attentive about your surrounding and the connection you have with the muscles in your body. I like having that feeling, you can be lost, but still very conscious.
I also really enjoy making handcrafted items in collaboration with other leather craftsmen. It’s amazing to see how a single design comes together after each of the craftsmen plays their part and contributes to the whole.
The Evolution of My Work
All my creations have a story build around their evolution. From a sketch in my notebook to the handcrafted item in my palm. First, I get excited by the material and then all my ideas revolve around how to depict its nature in the best possible way. The form is usually inspired by the intended use. Furthermore, most of my designs are based on a single panel. So, unlike the conventional design of bags, they don’t have a front, back and bottom panel. They are made with a single panel that is folded and assembled in various ways.
My work day starts at 10 in the morning. I work with another craftsman who helps me with the development, his name is Sonu. After he receives the hide from the supplier, he cuts out and develops the panel of the bag along with the pockets. He also attaches the lining to the cut-out leather. Usually, he has the batch ready by midday when I go meet him at his workshop. After the finished panels come to me, I work on the details, the finishing and the assembly. This takes up anywhere between 3-8 hours for a single design.
I think finding the right people to work with has been my main challenge. The understanding that others have with me and the kind of work I do, is crucial to the final outcome of my designs. Identifying people I can count on and connecting with them has been the most effort-intensive aspect of my work.
I do plan to be more involved with people. I have always wanted to co-create with other artisans who work with natural materials like wood, stone, fabric and clay. The idea is to contribute to a larger picture with all these different types of skills and knowledge combined. Along with this network, I plan on developing a range of objects made for daily use that are built on the idea of care, respect and a sense of community.
I think my customers can be anyone and from anywhere. They probably have the ability to look into, observe and appreciate the details in handcrafted objects. Moreover, they’re able to think and understand the value of handmade! I really hope they use my designs in their daily lives for a long time and make it a part of their personality. The items will have their marks of use embedded in the leather and in time, if possible, they’ll hand them down to the next generation.
Check out more of Sahaj’s products at his online marketplace The Bicylist on Discovered. We would love to hear what you think about his story and products! Share your thoughts with us and use #idiscovered or tag us using @dscvrd on Instagram or @discovered on Facebook.