Monday, 28 September 2015

U t e    N a u e - M ü l l e r' s    C e r a m i c s

by Divya Agrawal

Artists who push boundaries, expand their vision and its mode of expression are always an inspiration. Their work is an absorbing, enriching palette to experience. 

Our featured artist today - Ceramicist Ute Naue-Müller's (formerly Ute grossmann) repertoire is expansive, multi faceted. Yet, one look and it's easy to identify her work, steeped that it is in experimentation, abstraction, patterns. 

Ute works largely with porcelain and raku. A playful, balanced mix of color and textures is a highlight of her works.  
She creates a variety of forms, both sculptural and utilitarian. These pieces come alive in her studio, infused with color (with an intensity I have rarely come across in ceramics), many a times evocative of the elements of nature.

Ute's background in Chemical Engineering, Painting & Graphics - all finds a palette in her Art. Here's a selection of her works - a celebration and a reason for the viewer to rejoice!

The patterns on some of the vessels above remind me of Architect Mario Botta's work. Balanced and beautiful!

The many shades of green and blue come alive in a pot. So does illusion.

I find Ute's sculptural work intriguing. Paired with inscribed text, these objects seem to be a commentary, an artist's take on a specific subject. (Pity, I can't read German)

Very simple forms take on a new 'avatar' with added texture and lines.

Animals feature in profusion in Ute's portfolio - a fish with features of a ship, chameleons in many colors, bears and hares...

And, Humpty Dumptys tumbling over! Some with windmills, others with circles rolling over.

The mosaic effect on Ute's work is breathtaking in its uniformity, execution and effect. I love the blue Humpty Dumpty - possibly a take on a postage stamp, covered in fine engravings to create a semblance of Earth. 

How many ways can one transform a form in?!

More animals..

This vast and truly diverse portfolio built over a span of a decade, speaks volumes about Ute's skill of expression on clay surfaces. I have no doubt she will be counted as one of the Ceramics Greats in times to come!

All images: Copyright  Ute Naue-Müller (formerly Ute Grossmann)

Text & creative layout copyrights: On the Design Boat   

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Thursday, 24 September 2015

Snippet * 24     W i n d o w   t o   m y   W o r l d  #  3
By Divya Agrawal

A ceramic creation of mine, dated 2010. Made using colored glass and stains.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

S E P T E M B E R    B L U E S 


Hina Nitesh

Blue color is everlastingly appointed by the Deity to be a 
source of delight

---John Ruskin

Sapphire is the stone for the month of September. The deep blue of 
sapphire is what surrounds me as I write this post sitting in my balcony looking at the quiet bay on the horizon.  
The colour evokes in me dual feelings.

On one hand there is a sense of tranquility and calm like in the picture of the Santorini Island that follows


and on the other there is energy and  dynamism...

Image -

Do colours have a gender? Then why does the notion of blue for boys and pink for girls exist? On a personal level, I love blue and all shades of it and cannot seem to have enough of it around me... So when September and Saphhire presented a blue opportunity, I clung to it in the form of this post - a collection of products in blue which can add that little extra to your September fashion

Image ( 1. PillowCushionCovers 2. AldariHome 3. WandererTextile 4. Yiayias

Whether it is a traditional Ikat or Shibori or whether it is a graphic printed one, a blue cushion will surely be the highlight of your living room

Image ( 5. NewMoonBeginnings 6.tundrapot 7. treasureagain 8. ReadinginRags

The mandala drawer knobs (number 8 above) are an absolute favourite. Teamed with natural wood they will bound to add a new character to any piece of furniture

Image ( 9. PinkFoxFindings 10.ElementalDesigns 11. RiverwalkDesigns 12. BOBOJewelry Shop

Sapphire itself is a deep blue semi precious stone which is used in ornaments. I love the traditional ornate piece (9) above as well as the contemporary interpretation (12).

Image ( 13. dgordon 14. agardenofdreams 15. HeathersWilde 16. Sandhills Pottery

Blue Pottery - will I ever get enough of it?  Recognised the world over as the traditional craft form from Jaipur, blue pottery is actually Turko-Persian in origin. The secret lies in the glaze that imparts the wares a delicate blue /green glaze. The end result - gorgeous products that are absolutely a delight to own.

Image ( 17. LoveAccented 18. norakaren 19. NakedOrchidGarters 20. Littlevys

What do you think about the blue peacock plume fascinator? A winner all the way is my guess.

Image ( 21. Tsurfer 22. DawntoDuskKnits 23. SilkScarvesColorado 24. MikelinaArt

Scarves, can be worn in many number of ways and if you have a blue one then it can be teemed up with many different outfits too!

Does, the Sapphire blue look good on its own or can it be combined with other colors. Well if the pictures below could speak then they would tell us about the many ways that harmony and balance can be achieved by combining two contrasting colours.

Image ( 25. BeautButtons 26. CuteAndSweetVintage 27. Danko Handmade 28. GramaryeCottage 29. Rouge Theory 30. mmim

Leaving you with some more images of the blues...

Image ( 31. PuffinPatchwork 32. CinderLisaBooks 33. Waterrose 34. TaniaFelt 35. BonniesCrochetCorner 36. Juja

Text & creative layout copyrights: On the Design Boat   
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Wednesday, 9 September 2015

 W I T H   M E T A L   I N   M I N D . . .

by Hina Nitesh

Hardware shopping is probably the only kind of shopping I am averse to. 
For whether it is a dimly lit store or a glamorous one, they have similar looking boring and mundane pieces. And I am sure the thought is echoed in many other minds as well. But one look at the images below and there will be a change of heart...

Clockwise from top left - Serving Bowl, Soap Dispenser, Keychain, Paperweight

Mukul Goyal is the man responsible for thinking beyond the regular and bringing  'fun' in these supposedly mundane products. He studied metallurgy at IIT Kanpur but was always looking for creative satisfaction. A course in product design from NID was just what he needed. Later he even went to Domus Academy, Milan for another course in product design. 

A nameplate for the house

Today he is the Principle Designer and Director at Designwise India Ltd., a firm that he established in 1998.  His designs are sold both nationally and internationally under two distinct brands - Mukul Goyal which is a brand of giftware and home accents and Tattva® - the art hardware range. 

Door Handles

Aesthetics, quality, timelessness, functionality are some important aspects of his design philosophy though not necessarily in the right order.

For the office

His products are characterized by their simple and minimalistic designs which are beautiful to look at without compromising on the basic functional requirement. The twist in the tale is the element of surprise which they bring with them. Once discovered, it is bound to ignite a little smile or a deep laugh. 

Curtain rod and tie back back detials

Goyal manages to create a bond between the product and the user in the short while which also makes him, reach out to the product every time.

Left - Yoga bottle stopper, Right - Lotus bracket

Most of us are too engrossed in our day to day lives to find time to smile that too while performing the most mundane of tasks like opening a door. Mukul Goyal designs tease the users and transform the most mundane of tasks into fun.

Clockwise from top left - Serving Platter, Napkin holder, My Chest, Wine Bottle Holder

Apart from the quirkiness, it is the quality of the end products that is important for the designer. He believes that whether the design is good or bad, how it sells finally depends on the quality of the product. A poor quality product will never sell however good the design might be.


He has successfully broken the mindset as far as metal and hardware design is concerned. He feels that design needs to have a timeless appeal to it and doesn't believe in following trends or creating for a particular season.

To know more about the designer check out his site

All images: Copyright Mukul Goyal

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Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Melodies in WOOD
 by Divya Agrawal

Artists forge a deep bond with the materials they work with. These materials often inspire and shape their Art. 
For Greg Klassen, today's featured artist, wood is the chosen medium. Using reclaimed wood, Greg creates furniture that can be called a 'labor of love'.

The "River Collection" featuring tables with hand cut glass was my first introduction to this very imaginative, in love with nature, artist's work. And I haven't stopped looking at these meandering water bodies since.. 

What can be more beautiful than incorporating discarded natural materials to create functional and highly aesthetic objects? 

All the wood used to make furniture is sourced from within a 30-mile radius of Greg's studio in Lynden, Washington. Working on one piece at a time, he works with a combination of hand and machine techniques to smooth, mold and polish slabs of wood. Natural disruptions in the wood surface are bridged with blue color hand cut glass.

"My inspiration comes from the beautiful Pacific Northwest and the trees that grow here. No two trees are the same just as no two pieces are that I make from them....
It’s important to me that the “fingerprints” of the craftsman are on each piece I make. I try to marry the natural beauty of the wood with the skilled craftsmanship of the maker. When the two come together, a piece can really sing!" Greg Klassen

The natural edges, grain and rings in the wood, all remind one of the beauty in Nature, and, it's enormity... I will forever cherish the moment I stood next to a section of a redwood trunk, taller than me, at the Ontario Science Centre in Canada. Trying to count the number of rings on that piece of nature I felt so humbled, and, young ;)

With the natural features of wood visible, each piece created by Greg Klassen is as unique as the tree that the wood came from.

The plain wood tables and other items are equally stunning for their design and detailing, and, of course the look.

"...My pieces are handmade, in the truest sense of the word.  I make one piece at a time and give it my full attention, starting with a tree and ending up with functional art.  I love the idea of taking a discarded tree and giving it new life.  I think the natural world is beautiful, and I love what I do."  

I love the idea of having 'rivers in wood' up on a wall (as above - sculpture). The chopping board and note block below are also noteworthy for their raw simplicity.

Greg Klassen's work is evocative and simple, yet grand, for it celebrates Nature the way it is.  
A pointer to acknowledge and treasure the beauty surrounding us and to minimize and reuse!

All images: Copyright Greg Klassen

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