Thursday, 18 September 2014

P A P E R – As  S I M P L E  as it gets 

Text: Hina Nitesh

It does not take much to make ordinary special – 
just an innovative mind.

We are surrounded by it throughout our day right from the morning newspaper to the notepad on which we scribble to the white sheet children draw on to the wrap of the take away meal to the brown bag of the local grocer...the list is endless. 
Then why are we talking about it here as if it is special?

Ever wondered how paper is made? Yes there are paper mills but they don't make hand made paper (for obvious enough reasons). So who makes handmade paper and how?

One such person who is our focus today is a lady by the name of Jenny Pinto. She not only makes paper but also turns it into beautiful products. From a well established career in advertising to Jenny Pinto Studios, from Mumbai to Bengaluru, was a long journey for our designer.

As she puts it, 'After 17 years of making TV commercials in Bombay, I decided I wanted to do something that "reconnected" me to the earth.'

The paper affair started when she met someone passionate about recycling paper. The idea seemed interesting to her and she started with designing paper lamps – enjoying the play of light on paper.

The concept of connecting with nature led to her making handmade paper for the creations. The advantage this gave her was that she did not need to depend on others for the supply of raw material for the lamps. Her experiments with handmade paper lead her to use natural materials like banana fibre, mulberry, jute, kora grass etc. And finally zooming onto using banana fibre.

The handmade paper thus made is used for making a range of things like lamps and lights, stationery and home accessories. Of these its the lamps which are breathtakingly beautiful.

Like a magician, she is able to sculpt forms which are difficult to even imagine in her chosen medium – the handmade paper. She realises that the shadows play and important role in a lamp so she creates them deliberately in the form.

'My inspiration', she says, 'is nature. Stone,bark, the desert, the sea, parched earth, the forest canopy,the forest floor...'

Apart from the lamp itself, what would catch your eye is the stand. Fashioned out of stone or wood or metal or bamboo, they are just perfect for the creations.

Jenny also gives back to the society working with NGOs and for women empowerment. She teaches them basic techniques and start them with designs. She then leaves them to explore their own creative potential and goes back if they need help.

It is a visual delight to browse through Jenny's creations which are available at various stores including The Purple Turtles in Banglore and Transforme in Mumbai.

Jenny Pinto is an inspiration who goes onto show that if you can dream it you can achieve it.

Text & creative layout copyrights: Onthedesignboat

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