These are the Mumbai peeps you should go to when you want something quirky and out-of-the-box

Updated: Jun 04, 2017, 11:57 IST | Benita Fernando and Kusumita Das

The Mumbai peeps you should head to when you want something quirky and out-of-the-box customised for your four walls


Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Art&found, Opera House, TIMINGS: 10 am – 7 pm (Mon – Sat)
What started out as a digital gallery of affordable illustrations and prints, now has a ground presence as well. Aditya Mehta, 31, went live in March 2016 with an online curated platform for artists to sell their prints. Mehta, a former advertising professional, wanted to break away from the traditional notion of art prints, to nurture a community of young illustrators, edgy designers and process-driven visual artists.

Aditya MehtaAditya Mehta

Now hosting works from about 250 artists and designers, both emerging and established, Art&Found has a basement space in Opera House since October 2016, which functions as both gallery and studio. If you are an artist interested in having your work showcased at Art&Found or wish to see prints for your office or home, drop by. Browse through prints by Malay Dargali, Madhav Nair, Rachna Ravi and Sarah Kaushik, among others, here.

PET PROJECT: A co-working space, called FundTonic, in Andheri was given a makeover with 45 prints and wall murals.


Artist Sumer Mehta screen printing the art works at his studio in Sewri. Pic/Suresh KarkeraArtist Sumer Mehta screen printing the art works at his studio in Sewri. Pic/Suresh Karkera

The Harbour Press, sewri, TIMINGS: 11 am - 10 pm

Having studied screenprinting at the London College of Communication, visual artist Sumer Mehta, 26, decided to set up a studio in Sewri dedicated to the craft. The Harbour Press, established in January 2016, caters exclusively to the hand screenprinting needs of designers and illustrators. Mehta has built the equipment from scratch.

Explaining the nomenclature, he says, "My friends and I have lived along the Harbour railway line, hence I chose to call it The Harbour Press." While orders start at a minimum of R6,500, Mehta says that one of the thrills of the job is that he is designer, filmmaker, photographer and printer, and so, is able to understand the needs of his clients well.

PET PROJECT: A video showing the screenprinting process of posters by illustrator Sajid Wajid Shaikh for the 10th anniversary of Ctrl+Alt+Del.

Johnny Ganta
Johnny Ganta

Johnny Ganta, Carter Road, TIMINGS: All day
From making classy business cards for the sheikhs of the Middle-East to gig posters, Johnny Ganta is a bit of a culture evangelist. A multi-instrumentalist interested in art, design and fashion, Ganta, 30, used to be co-founder of a letterpress printmaking company in Dubai called The Raizuli. Having moved to Mumbai, Ganta now freelances - digital collages are his specialty. His Bandra studio has ample space for an army of interns. There have also been times when a room in his house has been converted into a recording studio.

Johnny GantaJohnny Ganta

PET PROJECT: Visuals for Azuma Kazuma by electronic musician and composer Sid Vashi, accompanied by Instagram updates of his collages.

Arjun RathiArjun Rathi. Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Arjun Rathi, Churchgate, Timings, 9 am - 7 pm
"Without light, there would be no architecture," says Arjun Rathi. The principal architect of an eponymous multidisciplinary design practice, Rathi is known for his work with metals, blown glass and cast glass. He impresses upon the importance of micro-architecture, what we would otherwise called interior décor. Once you see his lighting pieces, you will know why Rathi, 30, calls them micro-architecture.

Arjun RathiArjun Rathi

Think of lamps that take on the design principles of hydrotowers and geodesic domes, or other pieces that use the headlights of Ambassador cars. Rathi stresses upon the importance of local labour, local design and local material. While his team and he use three workshops across the city, they work out of their modest studio, where they will show you work samples and prototypes. Oh, and Rathi also makes cat castles. Check out the one he has gifted to Cat Café Studio, Versova.

PET PROJECT: Geodesic and Ambassador lamps.

Studio Kohl, Malad, TIMINGS: 10:30 am to 7 pm
A boutique studio started by NID graduate Mira Malhotra, Studio Kohl's core focus lies on image-making and illustration. In 2006, when she graduated, there were not too many options for applied art graduates, besides advertising. "But advertising is more a copywriter's den than one led by design. I wanted to create a visual language that transcended any application or medium," says the 33-year-old whose client profile includes names such as Sony Music, VH1 Music Diaries, BBC India, and Penguin to name a few. Among her recent projects is I Call, a psycho social helpline, for which she did an image and graphic-based branding and a mural for the Facebook headquarters at BKC. "It was important for me to create a visual language that was free of type. That is a more Western concept we tend to follow. So, if you want to build a brand character through images, you come to us. I like to work with the syntax and grammar of illustrations and icons, rather than words."

PET PROJECT: The Saree Project.

Pic/Pradeep DhivarPic/Pradeep Dhivar

Concrete Design Bandra, TIMINGS: 10 am to 6 pm
If the wall art at Bandra's Birdsong Café calls out to you, then expect no less from Prashant Kanyalkar's studio, located right behind St Andrew's Church, on the first floor of the charming Xavier Villa. An erstwhile advertising professional, Kanyalkar, 43, wanted to build a space to satiate his hunger for design, and not get caught up entirely in the realm of branding. He started his own agency, KA Advertising in 2010, under which he recently opened a design cell called Concrete Design, which specialises in identity design and graphics. Besides Birdsong Café, they have also done graphics and illustration for The Village Shop, an organic café at Bandra, Please Don't Tell at Kamla Mills, MRP, a resto-pub at Dadar (East), and the rebranding for Terttulia in Shivaji Park. Their current project includes a soon-to-be-launched taproom in Bandra, called Brewolf. Typography is of particular interest to Prashant, who likes to craft stories out of typefaces.

Pet project: Typographical furniture.

Rekha GoyalRekha Goyal. Pic/Sayyed Sameer Abedi

The Pottery Lab, Bandra, TIMINGS: 10 am - 7 pm
Ceramic artist Rekha Goyal has been teaching pottery for over 10 years now. But she always wanted to create a space exclusively for teaching which would be separate from her own work. That paved the way for one of those rare open-air studios, nestled within the premises of a bungalow in Pali Hill. Aided by another instructor, Goyal conducts regular classes which include weekly sessions and workshops, out of this space.

Rekha GoyalRekha Goyal

The studio, now two years old, also serves as a workspace on a membership basis, for budding pottery artists. "The last five years have seen an upsurge in the interest for pottery. I think people miss using their hands for creative purposes - they rarely write, or stitch or knit. Pottery gives them an outlet. Also, clay as a medium is more approachable than paint and canvas, I feel. People are not intimidated by it," Goyal says.

PET PROJECT: Exhale, a 12-inch long stoneware


Pic/Datta Kumbhar

Material Immaterial, Dadar, TIMINGS: 10 am to 6 pm
Fashioning miniatures out of bare concrete, tall buildings are of little interest to these architects. Founded by Nitin Barchha and Disney Davis, their studio, Material Immaterial, was borne out of their passion for detail. It was once while scouting for gifting products, they found that hardly anything met their standard when it came to finishing and intricacy. "We thought why not make our own, build products from an architect's perspective," says Barchha, 38.

Nitin BarchhaNitin Barchha

They started a line of micro concrete cufflinks, earrings, desktop showpieces of staircases, houses, door handles and knobs. The product range is not extensive, but thanks to the detailing, some require over a year to develop. With a team of two designers and three craftsmen, the studio creates products ranging from 6 mm (earrings) to 25 cm (door handles) in dimension. Also, the concrete they use is made by them. "Since we work with miniatures, the concrete available in the market doesn't suit our purpose. So we make our own." With a price range from Rs '2,000 to '3 lakh, most of their buyers are from abroad.

PET PROJECT: The Mirage Collection, a range of concrete door handles.

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