Thursday, 6 October 2016

Snippet * 27     Folds in PAPER


Divya Agrawal 

Extraordinary talent showcased extraordinarily well!
Here are Spanish musician Gonsalo Garcia Calvo's origami creations. Poetry in paper, shall we call it?

All images: Gonsalo Garcia Calvo

Text & creative layout copyrights: On the Design Boat  ( )

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Stories   in   S_T_I_T_C_H_E_S

Welcome to the heart warming, playful world of 'Miga de Pan' by Argentine designer Adriana Torres. 
With a formal education in Architecture and Graphic Design, here's an artist who works with thread and a needle to create other worlds using fabric and crochet. Her embroideries and crocheted toys are a treat to peruse, with immersing narratives woven through.

Mythical figures and quirky animals wrestle, cycle and meditate in the midst of mountains and flowers here. There is minuteness of detail and an unmistakable feel of the modern in the treatment of each figure. 

Being someone who herself embroiders, I can't help but marvel at the variety of embroidery stitches and the lovely, unusual pastel palette Adriana uses. 

"The mind selects and nests, and with its curious and intrinsic spirit incorporated to the daily effort and an endless imagination has resulted in a collection of precious art pieces..." Adriana Torres

The details are enchanting. French knots, running stitch, stem stitches and more create Russian fairy tale like stories!

Miga de Pan's line of kidswear, toys, rugs etc is equally endearing.

Ander the Lion, Farnesio the Elephant, Oswaldo the Bunny, Mr Kuma the Bear and the very unique Coco TerrĂ¡queo the giant Armadillo - all these crocheted beauties would touch any child's heart (adults too!) 

I personally found Adrainna Torres work very inspiring, enough to put to paper an embroidery project I had conceptualized some time back. 
I will continue to follow this talented designer's newer offerings at Miga de Pan. You can too!

Images: Miga de Pan


Text & creative layout copyrights: On the Design Boat  (

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Wednesday, 3 August 2016



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


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  (
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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  (
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Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Snippet * 26     Ceramic MAGIC
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.