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Make this eco-friendly ceramic tableware your festive gift this season

The first Indian Ceramics Triennale: Breaking Ground is on at the Jawahar Kala Kendra, Jaipur (in collaboration with the Contemporary Clay Foundation) till 18th November 2018. This and few other exhibitions in the recent past have been slowly and steadily bringing to fore ceramics in India. On the surface it seems like a sudden burst of creativity, which must have been brewing for a while.
Being an admirer of utilitarian art I connected with Sonali Sharma – the co-founder of Nugu Handmade  (based near the Nugu reservoir in the Kaveri basin).
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To ‘serve’ with love

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.

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The radical experimenter

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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’.

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Out of the Shed

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.

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Handmade good design

Bee Kite at the LIt Fest

Talking about the right people matters to me and I’m sure it does for AnanTaya too; a concept store which during the Jaipur Literature Festival wants to pollinate our minds with Handmade Good Design.

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Crossing boundaries

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.

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Organic connect

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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.

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Emulating tribal art life

Devrai is the local name for sacred groves which over time manifests into small pockets of rich biodiversity hotspots.

A land lay barren ten years ago, but is transformed into a true Devrai, with over four hundred species of trees, shrubs, bamboos and vines. Its now a characteristic art centre tucked away in the hills of Panchgani, where Mandakini Mathur – a storyteller, poet and filmmaker, her husband Atul Mathur an OD Consultant and Executive Coach and Suresh Pungati a decorated Adivasi artist set up Devrai Art Village – a non-profit initiative, in 2008.

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‘the shop’

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.

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