Wednesday, 3 August 2016

 
G I V E A W A Y

With

T U R M E R I C   H A N D S

Text: Hina Nitesh with inputs from TH


Do you sense some excitement in this post? With the title of 'Giveaway', I am sure, you dear readers would be eager to find out the details...Let me begin by thanking Turmeric Hands for sponsoring this gift.  



Turmeric Hands is a venture by Sonali Chand and Bhavya Kamalia. Both the ladies are alumni of the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad. They describe themselves as two restless souls who constantly feel an urge to do things that connects them with their inner being. 


And as the duo puts it, ' at Turmeric Hands, we celebrate the joy of creating with hands'. 


The rich tradition of Indian crafts and story telling is what inspires both Sonali and Bhavya. With this venture of theirs, they are learning and enlivening this legacy. 


Their range of products includes stationery items, table top accessories, festive gifts etc. Turmeric Hands offers a collection of elegant, intricate hand crafted simple products that help reconnect with the roots. The idea is to add something new to each product while treasuring the essence of traditional arts and crafts.





Traditional motifs are combined with contemporary colors and backgrounds and styles to result in interesting stationery and other products.




You would have surely enjoyed the images above. Now it time for the much awaited giveaway. With Raksha Bandhan round the corner, it is indeed rakhis that Turmeric Hands is sponsoring and there are not one but two goodies to be won.

First prize - Silver rakhi

Second Prize - Stone rakhis

To be eligible for the rakhis, you need to do the following - 

1. Leave a comment on our page on 'the memorable rakhi moment'.
2. Like our OTDB page and the Turmeric Hands page for extra points

The Giveaway runs till the 11th and that is when the winners will be announced.

Your rakhi will be delivered at your address in time for Raksha Bandhan and this prize will make this festival more memorable.

Sunday, 31 July 2016

 DESIGN DIALOGUES - III

Puja Bhargava Kamath, Lai

In conversation with Hina Nitesh



'Story telling via Jewelry '

'This is our tagline', says Puja, an accessory designer from NIFT and the brain child behind Lai, her jewelry design studio. A small conversation with her tells us how meaningful this tagline is. Lets get to know more about Puja and Lai on OTDB today...

Rangoli inspired enamel pendant

On choosing to be a Jewelry designer

For someone whose passion is everything design and craft related, I did not wish to get tied down to a particular design field. After graduation in accessory design from NIFT, I took the freelance/Consultant route and picked up projects across different sectors including jewelry, crafts, interiors and leather products. During this time, I also took courses in Gemology from IGI, New Delhi and Art appreciations from the National Museum, New Delhi. 

Stylized paisley statement pendant

After providing design services to a number of leading national and international jewelry houses and working with craft clusters across India, the next obvious step was to venture out on my own. I felt silver jewelry was where my three passions - working with crafts and traditional skills, jewelry and history, converged. Thus in 2011, Lai, meaning beloved in Sanskrit and lyrical in French was born though I had started retailing with Fab India in 2009.

Modular earrings with lapis and granulation work that can be worn 2 ways



On the love for jewelry

I love jewelry- especially silver. I felt unexcited by the same-old designs that were in the market at that time and wanted to create pieces that were contemporary- not in a stark, clinical way but ones that celebrated an Indian minimalism. My jewelry also had to be wearable, something the wearer could relate with and most importantly, affordable. In short, it was to be the kind of jewelry that I would personally want to wear.

Mehndi inspired long ovalish pendant with black rhodium plated detailing


Amber color glass earrings with silver & turquoise accent



On influences and inspirations

My designs continue to be very personal and come from a place of my preference and influence at any given point. Travel and experiencing new things is a big source of inspiration for me. and so is history - about India and the ancient cultures around the globe. Cultural heritage is something that I turn to time and again, to seek inspiration from. In my work ethnicity, architecture, colors, textiles and motifs are also a source of inspiration.

Kutch inspired square top, round sunburst hanging earrings

Of late, I am also extremely drawn to and inspired by the Bauhaus and Mid Century Modern design idioms as well as the restraint, proportions and finesse in Japanese art and architecture.

Silver and Bidri dori necklace


Greek inspired open oval gold plated pendant


On the design process

A collection starts with a theme/ an inspiration/ a story. My collections could be based on a place that I'm fascinated with at that point or have traveled to such as Samarkand, Alhambra, Kinner Kailash or Kutch  or culture and aesthetics like the Greek, Nilaj (a), Kashmir and Mughal collections or iconic motifs and their history eg paisley, mehendi and rangoli collections or crafts skills like Bidri and Nathdwara collections.

Hoops with arabesque cut work

I spend a considerable time soaking in all kinds of information about the theme. I immerse myself in the research and learn something about say the weaves of a region and then interpret them as jewelry I use these bits of images and information to design a collection.

Multan inspired enamel finger ring


Cut-work earrings with lapis, turquoise and pearls cluster

At the core of every collection are definite characteristics, forms, motifs and craftsmanship that encompass the spirit of its inspiration. And that is why we use 'Story telling via jewelry' as our tag line.

Mughal inspired long rectangular enamel pendant



On making of the jewelry

I divide my time between San Francisco and New Delhi. After finalizing the sketches, I send them to a workshop in Jaipur. Here the initial samples are made and pictures are sent to me. I make whatever changes have to be done and then the final set of samples is sent to me. I go through these samples including wearing them to check on the comfort level etc. They are sent back if there are any more changes. Once the final product is sent to me, I shoot them and open the collection for pre-sales or put a small batch in production for ready to ship collection.

7 tiered jhumkas with intricate arabesque pattern ear top

On the future of designer jewelry in India

Gold and diamond jewelry is preferred for weddings and such occasions but when it comes to daily wear or other events that do not call for traditional dressing, a lot of women prefer costume or silver jewelry.  


Looking at the explosion of jewelry brands both on and off line there is something in the market for every taste and sensibility. These pieces of jewelry also tend to be easier on the pocket as compared to restricting  oneself to buy just gold.

Bidri modernist pendant

Pre-independence Indian coin pendant with silver work and an onyx flower

As far as silver jewelry is concerned, historically, we have been fond of silver. As an essentially silver jewelry brand, my customers often say that they buy a lot of what they do knowing that they will be able to pass their collection to the next generation. So as far as silver is concerned there is a definite emotional link involved. People are now willing to pay for the design, the concept, the craftsmanship and how wearing a piece of jewelry makes them feel versus its weight ans resale value as the deciding factors. In my experience, the future is not bad at all especially, among the urban 25-50 years old.
  
Apart from designing, I love...

Marrakesh inspired kite earrings in satin finish with garnet and gold plated detailing

When not designing or buried under the admin tasks of running a small business, you'll probably find me planning my next trip, reading or hiking! I am always happy to travel, I thrive on new experiences, sights, smells and taste. History, food, textiles and architecture are my other big passions.


Hand painted black enamel work and a turquoise drop

Himachali long pendant necklace with enamel work detailing and fringe  




Text & creative layout copyrights: On the Design Boat   
Images copyright: Puja, Lai

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Saturday, 23 July 2016

MIGHTY Card Games

"The Details are not the details. They make the Design." 
 Ray & Charles Eames


The husband-wife designer duo whose work is an amalgam of beauty and utility, art and science, designed a game called the "House of Cards" in the 1950's, comprising cards with slots that allow a player to interlock them and create a variety of structures.
 
Images from Art, Science and the world around us are printed on one side and vibrant colored panels on the other. These decks are universally loved and find a place in the Museum of Modern Art, New York.

Hours of fun for adults and children alike!


Text & creative layout copyrights: On the Design Boat  ( www.onthedesignboat.com
 
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Sunday, 17 July 2016


When COLOR fuses with GLASS
 
 
"Rings, rings and rhythms. Whirls in a flow. Ever again – and a feeling of something, itself reflected and making reflected images. The movement of light – a moment that has passed. Already gone." Tapio Wirkkala
 
The versatile and internationally celebrated Finnish Designer & Artist Tapio Wirkkala (1915-85) collaborated with Venini in Murano, Italy to design a stunning range of colored glassware. With interest in in nature, movement and structure, Tapio's pieces from this collection are a tribute to his inspirations and to the tradition of Venetian glass blowing.


 
 
 
Text & creative layout copyrights: On the Design Boat  ( www.onthedesignboat.com
 
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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Snippet * 26     Ceramic MAGIC
By
 
 
Famed British Potter Lucie Rie continues to cast her magic on me with her masterful hold on form and glazing. Here's a collection that while putting together for this Snippet, brought a lot of warmth and inspiration to my work space on this grey monsoon afternoon in Mumbai.
 

Saturday, 21 May 2016

N a r r a t i v e s    i n    W o o d
By
 
 
Nature continues to fascinate me. More than ever now, with both my little ones taking keen interest in all things natural around them - flowers, bird songs, leaves and trees. The other day, the peeling brown bark of a palm tree that resembled gunny bag fabric was a world of wonder to them, and me. 

Elements of nature are unique, in their texture, feel and appearance. The differences may be subtle, but each piece of wood carries a story, is a witness to many events that you or I may not have touched upon. Our featured artist today, Marc Bourlier is an Artist and Sculptor based in France who works with driftwood and linen thread to create narratives in wood.


Look closely and you can interpret a story in each sculpture.
"A person is a person, no matter how small" says Dr. Suess. So true, for much like the colony/ society of any living species, every figure has a unique and indispensable place in each of Marc's compositions. 
 




The faces immediately strike you - gnarled, withered, some stoic others filled with wonder. 



Marc deftly uses his material of choice and exploits its qualities to the fullest to create variations required for these narratives.


Tall and short, leaning in, forlorn, together - a composite expression created through placement of figures.




Marc's work is also a showcase of the multitude of expressions possible using a single medium and vocabulary.





I was reading Roald Dahl's 'The BFG' the other day (Yes, on my daughter's insistence!) and some of these sculptures reminded me of the story of Sophie and the friendly Giant :) Is the Giant carrying the humans to safety, or has he already gobbled them up? Is it hope that towers above all; is it love that keeps us going and binds us together? Are we a small part of the very large Universe, and, Nature encompasses all? One can interpret these sculptures to mean so much..




As I, as an artist, continue to explore human behavior and linked patterns, I find Marc's work very interesting. These sculptures offer a peep into individual traits while being portrayed as a group. There are individuals that stand out, or,  there may be one that determines the direction of the rest. Some seem to dominate, at other places lead. And then there are pieces where one finds a multitude of personalities, yet, it appears to be an ordinary 'group'.



The pieces above portray family / community for sure - together in a shelter, shared emotions and resources.
 



I have fallen in love with Marc Bourlier's Art and skill - of putting together pieces of driftwood to create sculpture that grips you, forces you to think, introspect and marvel. Hope you too share some of these emotions :)


Images: Marc Bourlier
 
Text & creative layout copyrights: On the Design Boat  ( www.onthedesignboat.com
 
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Wednesday, 27 April 2016

'THE WAY OF FLOWERS'

Text: Hina Nitesh

Flower arrangements have always fascinated me so today like the title says, this post is going to be about flowers.  

Image: www.jeremywhiteceramics.co.uk

Its actually about one particular kind of flower arrangement - Ikebana, the Japanese art of flower arrangement. Ike means to arrange and bana means flower. There is another term for this art - Kadu or 'the way of flowers'.


Image: www.bloomersfloristwilmington.blogspot.in
Ikebana is a disciplined art form with rules that govern the ways an arrangement can be executed. It is about minimalism expressed with natural blooms. While flower arrangements are generally just about flowers, Ikebana is also about the stem, the leaves and the vase. 

Image: www.pinterest.com

The basic philosophy is that the arrangement should be simple and should look natural.

Image: nordic-lotusblogspo.tcom
Depending on the way the flowers are used and the vase they are used is, there are different styles of arrangements. The common one are -

Rikka or standing flowers
Seikaor Shoka or living flowers
Nageire or flung flowers
Moribana or piled up flowers

The first three are created in bowl shaped vases while the fourth one is created in a dish like container.

Image: www.indulgy.com

The Ikebana arrangement is more than just a floral decoration. It brings the practitioner close to nature. The artist has to make the whole thing beautiful through the shapes, color and form of the elements used.  The aim is to connect with nature and the flowers and other elements used for the arrangement are a reflection of the changing season

Image: www.orchidsandikebana.blogspot.in
The effort is not to bring the best of the blooms inside the house but to give a glimpse of what the nature outside has to offer. This is why flowerless branches and single flowers also get prominence in the arrangement.
Image : www.pinterest.com


The end result is an attractive piece that also has a certain calm about it. The maker must be treating this creative process with a sense of spirituality about it which gets reflected in the final pieces.

Leaving you with some interesting arrangements...



Image: www.collagediva.typepad.com

Image: www.fashioncentral.pk

Image: www. flower-arrangement-ideas.com

Image: www.keithstanley.com

Image: www.pinterest.com
Text & creative layout copyrights: On the Design Boat   

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