Tuesday, 15 December 2015

S I M P L E  &  P L A Y F U L   

by Hina Nitesh

How many times have you sat down for a lecture with a pen and paper to take down notes and ended up with squiggles in the corners? Speaking for me - well  my mind was more on these little pen/pencil drawings than on the (often) boring lectures. In fact, one of my friends even experimented by closing her eyes and let her pencil 'respond' to the tone and tenor of the the lecturer's voice...The things we did in college!!

The lady I am introducing to you has taken 'doodling', as it is known, to another level. On OTDB today is Rachna Raghuram, an artist and a doodler. She is also the owner of the very aptly and cute sounding Doodle Doo. Though not formally trained as an artist, Rachna, has been doodling since her school days. She has a degree in business management and mass communication and even worked in the corporate sector for sometime.

While working a 9 to 5 job, she would doodle after work and on weekends. With her heart set on art, she sent mails to publishers of children's books and got successful when one of them responded. From here, there was no looking back. She gave up the cushy corporate job in favor of her of world of pens, pencil and colors. It was decision that she did not have to repent about. Presently, she works out of her home studio in Mysore and sells beautifully illustrated products through her online site Doodle Doo. She also customizes illustrations for clients as per their needs.

As I sit back and browse through DoodleDoo, there is a smile on my face that refuses to go. On the site you will find some lovely pocket mirrors (that's how it all started), calendars, fridge magnets, laptop sleeves etc. For me what takes the cake is part of a small link for 'portfolio illustrations' in which there are customized invitations.

The forms and lines in Rachna's works are pretty simple. The use of colors accentuate the illustration without overpowering it. I am in love with the way sentiments are portrayed in these illustrations -  playful lines overflowing with emotions. There is a child like quality in her works - a sense of innocence and positive thought process. Humour too is an integral part of her works.

Rachna is, as of now, a one woman army for Doodledoo and enjoys being her own boss. Apart from social media, she exhibits her products at flea markets and craft bazaar which she feels are good for connecting with the customer face to face.

Doodledoo is young venture and we wish Rachna all the success for her future. 

You can browse through her portfolio of works at Doodledoo and visit her Facebook Page

All images: Copyright Doodledoo

Text & creative layout copyrights: On the Design Boat   

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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

T O Y S    t h a t   c o m e   A L I V E

Children's fiction is alive with stories where toys come to life. They speak, dance and act like living beings. Our featured artist for today, Nadya Sheremet's handcrafted toys are similar - they come very close to being alive. Being somebody who enjoys crafting by hand, I am completely taken in by the beauty and detail in Nadya's creations. 

Nadya creates elaborate sets to photograph these toys. The result is nothing short of stunning.  
Born in Ukraine and living in Russia, Nadya cites forests and mountains as her big love. "Nothing pleases me as much as unity with Nature."

 There are many more aspects of Nadya's work that are eye catching - extravagant hairdos, designer costumes, intricate embroidery and a balanced use of many interesting fabrics.

The clothing is elaborately designed and detailed. I love the blue coat with an over sized collar above, showing off the embroidery design on the dress underneath.

Note the wooden legs and embroidered faces on the pirate pair. Natural antlers - what a lovely addition to this jacket totting reindeer!

Nadya's creations also include brooches, stuffed animal toys and other items - all incorporating her sometimes unconventional, always elaborate embroidered designs.

What an impressive confluence of fabrics, embellishment and design! A treat indeed! 

 All images: Copyright Nadya Sheremet

Text & creative layout copyrights: On the Design Boat   

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Tuesday, 24 November 2015

F R O Z E N  

by Hina Nitesh

No, this post is not about the movie but something equally interesting and captivating. How many times have you looked at waves and wondered if they could be put on hold? This week onthedesignboat is Graham Muir. The name might not be familiar to many but a look at his works and you will not forget him, that is a promise.

After teaching hot glass at Sunderland University for 9 years, Graham Muir established his studio in 1999 to make 'beautiful' glass. By his own definition beauty is not that which just attracts a viewer but that which keeps the viewer hooked. And he has surely been able to capture 'beauty' in his sculptures.

Coming back to the frozen wave question that I asked in the beginning -  Graham Muir's sculptures seem to capture that moment in time when that wave is frozen. To me it feels as if the glass waves will continue their motion the moment that split second in time is over. This lends the pieces a sense of delicateness and there is an ethereal quality about them. As the artist himself says, these pieces “convey both the beauty but also the often-frightening power of nature.”

Needless to say Graham Muir's work is not conventional. Departing from traditional handling of glass, Muir has over the years experimented and discovered a style which is unique to him.

Be it the wave sculptures or the scent bottles, they leave you mesmerized and wanting more. The artist has displayed his works are exhibition round the globe and also won many awards which recognize his creative genius.

Leaving you with some of the exquisite pieces from the artist's collection. 

For more details log on his website.

Sunday, 15 November 2015

F e s t i v e    T r e a t s
As we weave through festival season, I relish the changes around. The most pleasant of course being the weather. Mornings are a delight - slight nip in the air often accompanied with a lovely breeze that soaks you up. 

Diwali just went by and the urbanscape turned into a treat of color and light. Lanterns, diyas, flowers and finery was omnipresent. I now look forward to languid afternoons perfect for an outing under the sun, or just lazing around making another something by hand, giving shape to a fleeting inspiration. 

On that note, today we bring to you some gorgeous handmade beauties, perfect to indulge yourself with or share as a gift!

Images (Etsy): 1. leschiwelt; 2. Gingiber; 3. WatermelonCatCompany; 4. persimmonstreet; 5. StudioByTheForest

Handmade spells 'love' to me. The thought, feeling, care and time invested in creating something by hand inherently qualifies it to be that. The turquoise glaze in porcelain birds, deep red of the tulip painted on wood and the undulating forest green of 'looking-like-lilypads' serving platters is enchanting. 

Images (Etsy): 1. DoodleDooz; 2. MountRoyalMint; 3. Geninne; 4. TheAnatolian

Geninne's ink engraved journal covers are a treasure. The strawberry sprout sculpted from polymer clay (check out this store - I absolutely love their offerings) and this lovely green-blue dress would be any child's delight!

Images (Etsy): 1. LiquoriceMoonStudios; 2. MWstudio; 3. maplemist; 4. byloumi; 5. ToinoAbel; 6. KARUBA

Treat yourself or pamper that special woman with something from this selection of exquisite handcrafted jewelry and accessories. The Amber earrings would be a treasured addition to a modernist's collection. 
Freshwater pearls strung on linen cord - oooh! a must have!

Images (Etsy): 1. TheManerovs; 2,5. serpilguneysu; 3. Naryajewelry; 4. SolasJewelry

Filigreed flowers and amethyst - an eye-catching and an 'I want' pairing.
The celtic pendant and tulip silver earrings - love, love love.

Images (Etsy): 1. cumbucachic; 2. HalfLightHoney; 3. Barruntando; 4. BirdAndFeatherCo; 5. RubyRobinBoutique

 Add a dash of green around you with these unusual planters. I am enchanted with terrariums - complete miniature garden and can't help wanting the spherical one made out of hand blown glass.

Images (Etsy): 1. Geninne; 2. AWhitefieldDesign; 3. goosegreaseundone; 4. BrotherEarthBoutique; 5. WoodlandTale

 Some more love for children around you. 
The rocking whale made me want to be a child again!

Images (Etsy): 1. roootreee; 2. BLOCKWALLAH; 3. LilaRubyKingShop; 4. Unihom; 5. CurrantStudio; 6. aliette

 Prints, illustrations, wood blocks, home and hearth - something for everyone.

Images (Etsy): 1. FarmhouseMud; 2. claylicious; 3. LiquoriceMoonStudios; 4. susansimonini
 Ceramics, oh what beauty...
These blue gold Mediterranean bangles are stunning.

Images (Etsy): 1. schalleszter; 2. adatine; 3. ElizabethanFolkArt; 4. BottegaKrua; 5. Murtiga
 And then some more..

Images (Etsy): 1. TheHighFiber; 2. HouseofSeance; 3. ScottBergey; 4. BangiShop; 5. TLCPouches

 These hand printed towels, the orange patterned wallet, funky green shoes - all are a riot of color. And, color tugs at my heart :)

Images (Etsy): 1. ButternutBrooklyn; 2. BullCityGems; 3. roddyandginger; 4. YennyCocq; 5. TableTopJewels; 6. northvintage

Some more handmade items that would bring a smile to a face. The crocheted stones are lovely, as is the lamp with a geodite base. 

What a treasure from some very talented Designers and Makers! Time to tag hubby on this post ;))

 All images: Copyright of respective artists/ designers/ makers

Text & creative layout copyrights: On the Design Boat   

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Saturday, 24 October 2015

G O L D E N  M E M O R I E S

Hina Nitesh

Image Courtesy - www.tumblr.com

What happens when your favourite ceramic vase/bowl slips from your hands and breaks? Of course there is a little heartbreak but what after that? For most of us, it probably ends up in the dustbin unless of course its just a chip and can be re-purposed somewhere. But can you ever imagine the broken/chipped vase becoming a centerpiece? Probably no because not many know about Kintsugi...

Image Courtesy - www.makezine.com

The story behind Kintsugi dates back to around the 15th century when a broken lacquerware tea bowl was sent to China for repairs. It came back repaired alright but looking ugly and this made the Japanese craftsmen look for aesthetic means of repair. They discovered a technique in which the broken piece is given a new life using powdered metal like gold, silver, brass, bronze or copper mixed with lacquer.

Image Courtesy - www.lakesidepottery.com

The repair is carried out in different ways (using a mix of metal dust and resin or lacquer) like:

Crack - In this method, the small broken pieces or voids are filled in using the mix.
Piece - In this, the broken piece with missing fragments is filled with the mix and the original form recreated.
Joint - In this, the missing fragment is replaced by a similar fragment from another piece and glued together with the mix.
Image Courtesy - www.lakesidepottery.com

"All beautiful things carry distinctions of imperfection. Your wounds and imperctions are your beauty. Like the broken pottery mended with gold, we are all Kintsugi. Its philosphy and art state that breakage and mending are honest parts of a past which should not be hidden. 

Your wounds and healing are a part of your history; a part of who you are. Every beautiful thing is damaged. You are that beauty;we all are."

This quote by Bryant Mc Gill sums up the philosophy behind this Japanese art form.

Image Courtesy - www.makezine.com

Image Courtesy - www.tumblr.com

 If ever art could leave lessons for life, this is it.

A modern take on this traditional art form in seen in the works of Jan Vormann. He uses plastic building blocks to repair corners and fill holes in broken walls. The small colourful pieces seem to weave a story of their own which adds to the original. It is quite a pleasure to see spurts of colour where otherwise would be broken plaster or a gaping hole. 

Not only does this add a little playfulness to the otherwise drab landscape, it also helps create memories!

Image courtesy- Jan Vormann

You can see more of Jan Vormann works here

Text & creative layout copyrights: On the Design Boat   
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Wednesday, 14 October 2015

A      D e l i g h t f u l      F U S I O N

"Home is where our story begins"

Isn't that true? Homes and beings are intertwined, each internalizing parts of the other. The spaces we inhabit silently affect us in a many ways - they impact our moods, sometimes also becoming an inspiration and an enabler. Captivating homes are scrapbooks of life journeys, a coming together of the material and the philosophical. 

Home design can be an exciting and dynamic challenge for both the designer and the client - a melting pot for beliefs, aspirations and ideas. Successful solutions become stories that inspire and ones that the inhabitants enjoy and can immerse themselves in..

We bring to you today one such example : the Wright Conversion in Durban, South Africa, an extension to an existing residence by Elmo Swart Architects.

Sited in a lovely forest-like setting overlooking the Kloof valley, the extension seems to infuse a wave of energy into the existing thatched cottage. 

The clients, a couple - both writers and entrepreneurs, have a love for African abstraction; something that has beautifully translated into this addition.

Cast in concrete and clad in metal, the new structure blends well with the old cottage. Thatched planes in this very modern design give a semblance of continuity with the existing structure. Walls and roof fuse to create an abstract tubular structure with through views of green surrounds.

Embracing a tree with a sprawling canopy, this abstract composition floats above ground, cleverly and inconspicuously making space for an essential - parking.

Housed inside are a bedroom, two studies, an art gallery and an entertainment area. I love the abstraction in interior planes. Walls become sculpture here.

The bedroom has an attached outdoor shower mounted on a wood slatted base - another exterior element that becomes a link with the existing.

A well balanced intersection of planes and seamless merging of the old and the new (above).

A contemporary and in-context creation that must make for a very inspired living!

 All images: Copyright  Elmo Swart Architects

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