At first glance, Girish Singh Sani doesn’t come off as a heavy metal kind of guy. Chat with him a while though, and you’ll discover that under the unassuming moniker of India Engineering Works, this Pink Floyd and Guns N' Roses fan makes customised sculptures, objets d'art, installations and furniture, all from shipyard junk, at his workshop in Mumbai's Reay Road.
A marine engineer by qualification, Girish has worked with the Bombay Port Trust, Indian Navy and large shipping corporations for over 35 years. “Everything is engineered in our world today. Right from toothpaste to the fanciest smart phone. It’s all around us. This facet of engineering is what really fascinates me and has driven me to create pieces of art,” explains Girish.
Considering his workshop's proximity to the docks and the fact that his company deals primarily with ship repair, Girish has developed a knack for spotting parts that would work well as designs and fixtures. "Ships come from all over to get fixed up - odds and ends that made up their engines and motors usually go into my pieces." Inspired by automated components, Girish tries to infuse an element of power in each job. So obsessed is he with the idea of power and restoration, he even helps vintage car owners with the upkeep of their machines by manufacturing parts that are no longer available.
He Don’t Need No Education
With no formal training or background in design, Girish uses old pieces from defunct ships and cars to fashion pieces for a hush-hush list of clients like a ‘prominent horse racer’ and other homes and offices in South Bombay that rather not be named. His projects include a metal Birkin bag for the Hermes obsessed, a live-size horse, steel chandeliers and most recently, industrial furniture and lighting for the buzzy BKC restaurant The Good Wife.
We ask about Girish’s pet projects. “I’m currently working on an idea that involves a foldable king size bed that can compactly fit into a false ceiling with the help of a little engineering and a few push buttons. There’s also a railway commemorative work of art in Germany that we are using train tracks for.”
Despite the scale of these gigs, Girish tells us that he’s open to any kind of project and design, irrespective of size and budget. “There’s something very therapeutic about upcycling. It’s a process that we need to keep at.”
Getting there: India Engineering Works, 138, Reay Road, call 9820108589 for orders, ships all over the country, price may vary as per project scale and requirements, see their Facebook page here.
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