I recently discovered ISTLONDON, founded by John William Micklethwaite. Its first workshop apparently started operating in 2013 but it began selling in August 2014. Actually the credit goes to my younger sister who bought its blue pastel dessert platter and serve bowls from the main shop in Alcati (a town on Turkey’s Çeşme Peninsula, on the Aegean Sea, known for its beaches, old stone houses and winemaking tradition) recently during her holiday.
So after checking with John I quickly added this too onto my shopping list for London as the porcelain is fine and available at W A Green, Closet & Botts, 181 Delecatessen & Heal’s. They claim to have used only the world’s best porcelain – Limoges (which is from Llmoges, France) and Mount Blanc; even though the latter is not easily malleable in handmade processes, but its sheen reflects the light perfectly.
I had the opportunity to view Rooshad Shroff’s solo debut show – 15,556 Man Hours represented by Pundole Gallery earlier this year during the India Design Fair 2017 at Bikaner House, New Delhi. These were 26 pieces of furniture such as chairs, tables, benches, screens, daybed, and lighting in three distinct techniques – colour sanding, zardozi embroidery using french knots and monolithic marble hollowed and carved out. Being a big fan of handmade and crafts of India it was a sea change from other designed products, driving home his point of ‘authorship’.
Painting London red was India in September with its pavilion at the 10th edition of The London Design Fair, this year. We were privileged to become the first guest country, invited. Equipped with the best of both worlds, the brewing interest in our new independent designers and studios, was sure to develop!
Through This is India, Shed also debuted for the first time on the global design scene. And so, I connected with Priyanka Shah – the young entrepreneur behind this research and design studio. Based out of Surat, Gujarat, it specializes in making custom furniture, home accessories, kitchenware and cultural objects.
Two days ago, I went for the ongoing Dastkar Mela-Crossing Boundaries, which is being held from 17th-28th Sept’15 at Andheria More, Mehrauli, New Delhi. Over there, were artisans showcasing their merchandise from neighboring countries like Uzbekistan, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Ethopia, Vietnam and few Indian states – U.P., Rajasthan, Bihar, Karnataka, Gujarat and Manipur; though complacent with the knowledge of their craft.
Tarkashi Wall Art
I hadn’t acted on Tanveen Ratti’s visiting card, lying with me since months. But a few days ago I connected with the sprightly lady, and instantly took up her offer to travel with her to the studio, situated 55 kms from Delhi. And the very next day, despite the scorching heat we happily took off for Pilkhuwa- the textile town.
One late night I received an email from Kabir Singh with a crisp introduction and an e-brochure of his family’s creative enterprise the shop. Previously had only heard of this iconic (first) store nestled squarely in Connaught Place, Delhi. Seemed uncanny to have earlier that day read in Perpetual City (a short biography of Delhi) by Malvika Singh, of this area’s transformation from a ridge covered with Kikar trees, populated with jackals and wild pigs, into a landscaped showpiece of Lutyen’s Delhi.