Inspiration Art: Wooden furniture

Our beautiful and elegant pieces of furniture and unique gift items are made from Railway Sleeper Wood – cut over a century ago to be used as railway “ties” during the opening of the vast interiors of Asia and Africa – the era of the great steam engine.

The most exotic woods such as Burma Teak (golden brown to light brown), Red Jarrah (rich dark red), Yellow Jarrah (honey yellow sometimes with black, blue, red or orange streaks), Rhodeshian Teak (dark brown) were used. These offered the much needed strength and exceptional durability.

Now, these sleepers are being replaced by iron and concrete – ironically allowing the most befitting use for such beautiful woods. Exposed for over a century to the full fury of natural elements wind, rain, heat, cold and to add to that the human element – heavy trains thundering over them, the sleepers develop a very unique character with interesting and individual grains, grooves, abrasions and holes. This is the most rustic – sometimes called “distressed” look – one can get on wood.

These sleepers are brought to our workshop, cleaned and then selected for a particular piece of furniture or an exclusive gift item.

The design is worked around what nature has “carved” over a hundred years. The wood is then carefully prepared. For it is only with Human Hands that what has been crafted by nature can be finished. The Gallery’s skilled Craftsmen meticulously and lovingly bring out the grains of these beautiful woods and create unique pieces of furniture. Each piece has a chequered historic past, having been part of the Great African and Asian Railway systems throughout these two huge continents. No two pieces of this furniture will ever be the same – thus making them individual works of Art.

These woods are extremely difficult to work with making the whole process extremely labour intensive thus creating the much needed employment.

Once you have possessed this beautiful piece of furniture or a special gift, you will not want to part with it – will be enjoyed by generation to come and will become an “heirloom”.

I would like to mention:-

• The furniture is made from sleepers which are one hundred years and older.

• When Railway Lines were laid in 18th and 19th century in India/Asia, the wood used were BURMA TEAK and ‘SAAL” because of its strength and its natural oil which “repels” termites, (thus there was no need for “treatment of the wood against termites”).

• Burma Teak today is considered to be among the finest wood (is greatly “sought after” wood) for furniture. In fact, now there is a “ban” on cutting indigenous Burma Teak!

• Nature has done the “carving” for 100+ years – with really amazing “distressness” and realizing that no human can do such work – each one different – making it “Work of ART”, we saw great opportunity to make the very unique furniture from these sleepers.

• We do not plane the wood – so as not to lose its originality. We have developed our own system to clean every “grove and holes” (imagine the state of sleeper after 100+ years under railways open to all the forces of nature!) to perfection.

• Thus after cleaning we just cut and assemble the pieces as per our design.

• The final product is a unique piece of furniture – a piece of Art / Sculpture!

Kind regards
Inspiration Art Ltd

Chandu Dodhia
Managing Director

Francis Gichuhi (692 Posts)

Architect Francis Gichuhi . B.Arch. University of Nairobi. Registered Architect, Kenya. Member, Architectural Association of Kenya. Contacts. email Telephone +254721410684


  2 comments for “Inspiration Art: Wooden furniture

  1. judy
    August 11, 2016 at 10:03 am

    please could I see portfolio of your railway furniture?

  2. Linda Stoddart
    October 26, 2016 at 1:05 am

    We have two pieces that we bought from “Furniture Out Of Africa”, a business located in Vacaville, California. We would like to add a piece. Do you have a catalogue or web site we could order from?

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