The company may be called Monkey Business, but these primates are ahead of their time. A vase that does the balancing act and jelly fish bowls by NID's finest make for chic gifts
What happens when three individuals with a passion for pottery and a mission to monkey around come together? A whole lot of throwing with a fair bit of pinching and ribbing! Or as NID graduate Thomas Louis, ceramist Bhagyashree Patwardhan and design enthusiast Mubina Kachwalla prefer to call it, Monkey Business, a teaching studio-cum-lifestyle brand.
A ceramic showpiece available at Monkey Business called the Starfish
comprises several small bowls. Available for Rs 1,200
The idea for the six-month-old entrepreneurial venture came about while working on a ceramic mural for a museum in Pune. "We decided to pool our energies and create hand-built, studio-quality ceramic work," says Patwardhan.
We've experimented with textures to get more depth in the pieces. NID
graduates Louis Thomas (C) flanked by Mubina Kachwalla (R) and
Bhagyashree Patwardhan Pic/Pradeep Dhivar
The trio recently unveiled their first line of products that draws inspiration from marine life. Corals flaunt spiky edges, wax-like tentacles and playful frills. Starfish intrigue you with their slithery, pockmarked surfaces. A school of directionally-challenged fish appear to have lost their heads in a wall.
Comprising 20-odd designs, the line is defined by its organic forms, rich textures, vivid hues and quality finishes. The final product is a result of two pottery techniques -- wheel throwing and hand building. While the former decides the basic shape of the piece, the latter involves methods such as pinching and slab building to achieve the desired finish. "Clay lends itself to textures very well, which is why we've experimented with it to get more depth in the pieces," explains Louis.
Also part of the offering are a variety of ceramic wares (jars and bowls with lids, serving platters, chip-and-dip bowls and customised dinner sets), and a couple of lighting options. However, the designers confess that utility products aren't as much fun to create. "The joy lies in doing something different that's not in the market currently," smiles Kachwalla.
Nonetheless, they manage to bring a funky twist to everyday products such as the Fungi Vase (Rs 4,500 each), which resembles a cluster of mushrooms; the Balancing Act Vase (Rs 4,000 each, see picture) that's evocative of a pile of pebbles, likely to topple over at the slightest nudge; or jars with cacti, pyramids and other objects rooted onto their lids (Rs 2,000 each).
Design aficionados on the lookout for something offbeat are sure to appreciate Jellyfish (Rs 6,000, small and Rs 7,500, large for a set of three); Coral (Rs 800, small; Rs 1,500, large); Starfish (Rs 800, small; Rs 1,200, large); Fish Tails (Rs 3,500 each); and the Flop Show centrepiece (Rs 17,500). The triad cannot emphasise their brand's USP enough -- individuality of form, as all pieces are handcrafted. "Each plate will have a distinct character, even if it's part of a set!" quips Louis.
At: Bliss, Plot No. 180, Aram Nagar 1, 7 Bungalows, Versova, Andheri (W), Landmark - Legacy of China