Last year, 23 year-old Tosha Jagad and 24 year-old Mitisha Mehta, both graduates from Rachana Sansad College of Applied Arts and Crafts at Prabhadevi, were looking for a birthday present for a close friend. “We wanted to give her something personalised but not the run-of-the-mill stuff that is available in the market. Photoframes, mugs and friendship frames were just so overdone,” sighs Jagad, a Ghatkopar resident.
That’s when the duo decided to take some artistic liberties and set out to recreate their friend’s personality in clay. And thus was born the first-ever Moe — a miniature clay idol personalised to reflect the subject’s identity and mannerisms.
“We study character, traits, typical gestures and stupid antics that are synonymous with a person and make a personalised clay toy. We add intricate details that a person will relate to,” says Mehta, adding, that their first Moe got a great response from all the people present at the party.
Why Moe? “We just liked the name,” laughs Jagad. One look at the adorable idols that are available in three sizes from 2.5 inches (called Moe), 4.25 inches (called Moer) to 6 inches (called Moest) — and you can’t argue that the name works.
Friends asked for more Moes and the duo started taking personal orders. The raw material is as simple as befits the bewitchingly simple idea — plasticine clay and some acrylic paint. Each Moe is handmade and takes around two to three hours to be completed, depending on the concept and theme. “We recently made an iPod Moe, a photographer moe and even a Hookah Moe,” says Jagad, adding that they plan to preserve the Moes in jars, so that they do not get destroyed by curious hands. The plasticine clay is available in various colours and the duo handpaints the intricate eyes and face expressions. Presently, Moe is a part-time venture for Mehta, who runs her own graphic design studio and Jagad, who freelances as a graphic designer.