We are still contemporary

May 21, 2012, 07:41 IST | Soma Das

The lifestyle store that influenced tastes in urban homes for five decades has re-opened in Fort. The idea is to seduce the 'young' buyer with designs influenced by tradition, but that are still focussed on modernity

Lifestyle store Contemporary Arts and Crafts (CAC) has served as a landmark of sorts for over five decades. The Napean Sea-road store started by Vina Mody, however, opened in Ballard Estate, before moving to its better-known location. Last Tuesday, on May 15, the store re-opened in Fort after having shut shop for the past nine months.

Contemporary Arts and Crafts opened the doors to its new store on May 15. Pics/ Bipin Kokate

At 3,000 sq ft, the Fort outlet is much larger than the previous store, which means that there’s more space to stock their range of products. Their popular crockery sets are still up for grabs, and are now interspersed with quirky sewing-machine-turned-tables (Rs 19,050). The idea is to ensure a younger audience has access to traditional crafts and art forms, besides contemporary designs.

“The artistes are the same, but they have tweaked the products to be able to fit into a modern home,” shares proprietor Feroza Mody, who adds that several of the products are exclusive to the store. Products include framed Gond paintings from Odisha (Rs 3,050), jalebi kadhais that transform into funky wall hangings (Rs 1,050), jigsaw puzzles with Pattachitra, Madhubani and Kalamkari patterns from Pondicherry (Rs 750) and papier-mâché toys from Odisha (prices start at Rs 210).

Wooden measuring tape with map casing for Rs 350

Also available are cloth wall hangings, mats, table and bed linen. Several products have been sourced from rural areas, as well as from suppliers around the country. The animal kingdom is amply represented with cat-shaped figurines, frog-shaped lamp holders and hen-shaped watering cans.

Wooden cupboard from Rajasthan for Rs 12,000

Shop for a cause
Part of the profits from products like the cloth napkins with appliqué work (Rs 90) and cushion covers from Ahmedabad (Rs 950) go towards good causes, as the former is made in a convent in south India, while the latter is made by a non-profit that employs women working in handicrafts.

Metallic bucket with colourful designs for Rs 1,250

We especially loved the Rajasthani cupboard with hand and feet images (Rs 12,000), the metallic elephant adorned almirah (Rs 30,500), the horse-shaped betel nut cutters (Rs 950), the brass chapati boxes (Rs 2,550), as well as the wooden measuring tape with a map casing (Rs 350).

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