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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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Dining with KIKA while celebrating milestones

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Well, for me this 70th Independence day celebrations has been about analyzing India’s journey of rapid urbanization, growing awareness of western lifestyles, and higher disposable income. Ironically, certain aspects of global living came to fore, one such being cooking; as an increasing number of cosmopolitans are going back to soirees where exotic foods are paired up with fancy dinner and serveware as that has become a part of their conversations. So now, serving food tastefully  is no longer the prerogative of only the rich and famous of a bygone era.

Janaki Kirloskar in 2016, after working for 12 years in her century-old family business, decided to make the most of this crevasse. Having revelled in a beautiful home with luxuries, she had travelled, fine dined and entertained extensively ever since childhood. This industrial engineer who has an eye for patterns and designs decided on making the most of her of her background with KIKA Tableware – an acronym which brings together two most significant forces of her life – her daughters, Devaki and Mihika.  And with the onset of our festive season it seemed most appropriate for me to question her about her fairly new creative venture.

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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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