Saturday, 31 January 2015

G O D   i s   i n   t h e   D E T A I L S
Clothing to me is an extension of self. It is, in ways, a reflection of who we are and what we think. 

I am personally partial to clothing designed with natural fabrics and handlooms; clothing that carries the warmth of the crafter's hand with little details enhancing the fabric.  Like our earlier feature on the lovely, earthy Cocoricooo, we today bring to you "Camelliatune" - a brand that offers refined, luxurious clothing for women in natural fabrics like linen, hemp, cotton etc.

Started by Tracy and based out of Hubei, China, Camelliatune's aesthetics capture one's heart. Easy silhouettes, lots of intricate stitching details (pin tucks used to stunning effect) and natural fabrics are the trademark here.

Beautifully photographed, each outfit calls for attention!

Embellishment is usually in the stitching details. The green dress above is an exception though, with lovely, abstract embroidery around the neck.

"Tangible, sensual, and personal….they suggest that craft and design are ultimately about the relationship established between makers of the things and the individuals who, by selecting and using those things, complete the creative process." Tracy, Designer, Camelliatune

Flowing beach dresses, everyday frocks and luxurious linen evening wear - you'll find them all here.

"Handcraft, natural materials, and traditional techniques are which I treasure and value most. Through my own handmade clothing, I wish for people would put aside the attitude of consumerism and cherish the rarity of the things made by hand and feelings that come along with." Tracy, Designer, Camelliatune

A wide range of colors is available to suit one's palate. 

Given that the brand is very young (2007), the range of designs on offer is wide and each is a piece to treasure. I would rate Camelliatune high on the scale for design innovation - one sees many unusual cuts and ways of structuring a garment.

According to Tracy, "a lot of my inspiration comes from Tang Dynasty folk art and 20th century styles, brief luxurious design, but also everyday life and all sorts of romantic notions and nostalgic recollections." 

With names like 'The Kingdom by the Sea' and 'Pomegranate Bloom' for the season's collections, the Designer's love for nature is all pervasive in her body of work.

Tracy's philosophy of 'change for personal growth' leads her to continually create newer designs. So grab the one that tugs at your soul at their shop here before it goes out of production!

All images: Camelliatune 

Text & creative layout copyrights: Onthedesignboat   
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Friday, 23 January 2015

U D A A N ... F L I G H T 

Text: Hina Nitesh
The other day while taking a stroll in the evening, I stopped by the backwaters. I was standing there admiring the crimson hue of the setting sun reflected on the water and the trees gently swaying with the light breeze. But what had me mesmerized for a longer time was the birds. A part of the backwaters has turned into a marshland and has become a home for birds. This change came about a month back and every evening these winged creatures manage to catch my attention. It gives me immense pleasure to see them flap their wings and soar high in the sky. Udaan or flight of the birds resonated with freedom and reaching the skies...

Image Courtesy: lestrictmaximum

So, here I am today dedicating the post to these winged friends and how they inspire the creatively inclined. The products showcased here are available at (the shop name mentioned with the product).

Image Courtesy: 1.Warmpersonality 2. Feltnjoy 3. MyfanwysAppliques 4. DiNuovo

Sometimes they become the muse of a painter while at other times a designer borrows their colours and patterns. 

Image Courtesy:  5. DecorPillowStore  6. LilyPillow  7. Joom  8. NancyNicholsonDesign

To cage them is not a good idea, but there are other ways to keep them in your homes.

Image Courtesy: PaintedElephantArt
The challenge for the designer is to capture the vibrant colors and  the melodies in their products. I fell for these little purses which seem so alive that I can also hear them say 'peep'. Can you?

Image Courtesy: 9.kirstinstride 10. FreshyFig 11. ByTheShed  12. EmilyMadeMe

Bird motifs on jewelry is quite a novel idea. I like the life like Kingfisher which will be perfect with an summer dress.

Image Courtesy: 13. LaBrecqueGlassworks 14. CeraMystica 15. TCChiuSculpture
16. CERAMICSbyVITA 17. IslandGirlPottery

Image Courtesy: 18. Sormeja19. SimplySocialDesign 20. handmadewithlove

With these beautiful images, my post comes to an end. But tomorrow is another day and I will go back to the water and stand admiring God's handiwork. If you too have been inspired by these little creatures, do share your work with us.

We would be too glad to publish it here.

Text & creative layout copyrights: Onthedesignboat

Image courtesy: (individual shops as mentioned)

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Monday, 19 January 2015

A   t h i n g   o f    b e a u t y    i s    a    j o y    f o r e v e r

I spent my childhood in a town that offered many avenues to connect with nature. A dry riverbed in the backyard provided an endless supply of clay for making toys. I had an enviable collection of feathers - located that we were at the foothills of Himalayas, densely populated with greenery and birds. 

It was commonplace to sight 'Neelkanths' (Blue Jay), enchanting our tiny, imaginative worlds with hues of blue. Evenings were often spent at the Ghats witnessing spell binding aartis, the mighty Ganges roaring by, swallowing floral offerings. 

As an adult living in a busy metropolitan city, I miss the solace and beauty of nature. I do manage to catch it in bits on sun lit mornings, sitting on my favorite ledge, drawing/ crafting something by hand. 

Handmade objects exude a certain warmth and are specially beautiful in their little imperfections. The start of the New Year is a special, warm time and here is a collection of objects, handpicked from Etsy that warmed my heart. 

Soaked in color, these objects will warm your heart too!

Images (Etsy): 1. rootsfarm; 2. OldeTymeNotions; 3. AntigoniCreations; 4. chARiTyelise

The set of platters takes one right in the midst of the ocean. Five tin toy tea cups of the 50s vintage and the playful spoons - wish you were a child again?!

Images (Etsy): 5. MarinskiHandmades; 6. StudioLind; 7. BeachBlues

These mason jars would make any day a beautiful day!

Images (Etsy): 8. AshleyPercival; 9. elisemahanfineart; 10. ValerieaneLeblond; 11. bluerosebeadery

I loved these illustrations. The birds are full of patterns and color - so much like they are in real life. 
Night is indeed so peaceful and magical - if you have the luxury of sleeping on a terrace gazing at stars.

Images (Etsy): 12. susanfarrington; 13. adatine; 14. TwoSadDonkeys

Look closely - there is lace, thread, fabric, patterned paper and more in the mushrooms. 

Images (Etsy): 15, 18. MiepundMeise; 16. VeraJayne; 17. UrsulaShop

Hand felted baby shoes!

Images (Etsy): 19. 2Hands2Tails; 20. goosegrease; 21. redstuga

Another mixed media illustration - very imaginative and artistic. 

images (Etsy): 22. MalotaShop; 23. TheSeasideKids; 24. BottegaKrua

No, it's not glass. This is a raku ceramic plate : a perfect example of how heat can change the nature and appearance of materials.

Images (Etsy): 25. TheCratePeople; 26. greenchildcreations; 27. LAccentNou

Here's a heartfelt thanks to all who make by hand - the warmth and love you put into your creations does touch us :)

Text & creative layout copyrights: Onthedesignboat   

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Sunday, 11 January 2015

S C U L P T U R A L     F A B R I C

Text: Hina Nitesh
In the hands of textile designer Deepa Panchamia, the traditional two dimensional fabric gets an unconventional three dimensional form. The British Indian textile artist uses simple techniques like pleating and creating pockets to manipulate the fabric. The complex geometry that results unwittingly creates smoothly flowing forms which is a hallmark of all of the artist's creations. 

Deepa graduated in constructed textiles from the Nottingham Trent University. For her, fabric is not just for making clothes but a medium for space, form and structural explorations. 

Deepa's work transcends the boundaries of 'sculptural' to become one-of-a-kind. Each piece explores the female form and attempts to enhance it.

Her portfolio of works includes, sculptures, installations as well as garments fashioned out of fabric.

The bridal gown, above, is a mosaic of techniques employed to create an exquisite piece.

Each piece is handmade and therefore each piece is different. Panchamia's creations are meant to be looked at and appreciated as works of art but are not really wearable.

She also uses the fabric for creating sculptures and installations which are a study in the interplay of light and shadows on the surface. 

Most of the designer's works are in white and shades of white as she feels that 'colours can be distracting'. It is with the neutral palette that the light and form of the fabric is best appreciated. She uses organza, cotton, linen etc for her work.

                                                    You can explore Deepa Panchamia's works and technique on her website 
All Images: Copyright Deepa Panchamia unless captioned otherwise

Text & creative layout copyrights: Onthedesignboat   

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Monday, 5 January 2015

M o u l d i n g    w i t h    P a p e r

A feature on Mary Button Durell's Paper Sculptures is a happy start to 2015 for us at On the Design Boat. Enigmatic, organic, multi faceted, complex, deep are some of the qualities evident in this San Francisco based artist's work - qualities that we also look forward to showcasing in our features in this new year.

Paper is the most basic of materials. A material that on the surface seems to have limited obvious use. One look at Durell's sculptures instantly transforms our notions of what can be achieved with this material.


Mary uses tracing paper and wheat paste to create most of her work. Her sculptures are organic in form, twisting and binding to create amoeba like organisms. 

One gets to see an experimental and an experiential approach towards material and form in these paper sculptures. The fact that the Durell is testing and pushing boundaries with her chosen material is very evident in the way she has created widely varying forms.

"I like the challenge of pushing the limits with one material, it forces you to always think about what’s next and how to continue to reshape, redirect and transform that chosen material. I have an interesting and long-term relationship with this paper, and when you work in tandem with your materials and with such intimacy, the give and take is an important part of the work." Mary Button Durell via

A sublime palette of colors adds an enchanting, ethereal quality to these works. At a glance, it is difficult to believe that paper can contain so much - strength, solidity & fluidity, translucence & opaqueness....


"Fundamental ideas explored in my work relate mostly to the mysterious quality of translucency— the ways in which diffusion of information, lack of clarity and distinction can pull you in and stimulate questions and curiosity.....

.....I’m drawn to the questions that layers bring up and the possibilities for meaning, whether it’s single layers or multilayers. There is so much to consider: the extent of layering (psychological and physiological), the realities underneath, the history, the texture, the thickness, the construction, and how to uncover those layers. Themes of contrasting forces also carry through my work: fragility and strength, opacity and translucence, heaviness and lightness."Mary Button Durell via


These are some visuals from Mary's studio - a veritable smorgasbord of ideas & experimentation!


"....But of course inspiration comes in all ways. I stop. I sit, observe, absorb, and look closely and slowly at objects. I follow contours on the pavement during a slow paced walk. I pay attention to negative space, the space around, the gap, the mistakes, and the discarded. I get out the magnifying glass, I rotate, I nap. Travel, libraries, dancing, music, maps, hardware stores, my artist friends, huge gut-ripping roaring laughs— all of it inspires me, everything, the full catastrophe." Mary Button Durell via

Aptly said Mary - an artist absorbs everything and these experiences become tools. Here's wishing all a happy year ahead of more listening, absorbing, observing and creating!!

See more of Mary's work and the process involved on her website
All Images: Copyright Mary Button Durell unless captioned otherwise

Text & creative layout copyrights: Onthedesignboat   

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