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Entries in India (20)

Thursday
Feb242011

one of a finds: knead it side table

Inspired by the centuries-old red lacquer wood kneading bowls of the Chettiar in Tamil Nadu, India, each knead it side table is handpainted in an optimistic burst of bright calligraphic squiggles and brushstrokes.

The striking designs are hand-painted by artisans in the northwestern state of Rajasthan—one of India’s largest regions—in the city of Jaipur. Their skills were once used to support India’s huge signboard industry, but with the rise in technology these painters have been replaced as companies turn to computer graphics and digitally designed signboards.

One of a Finds are offered one time only in a small reserve for collectors and enthusiasts— this table is from a limited edition of 500.

Friday
Feb112011

one of a finds: chapatti rolling pins

Traditionally gifted to Indian women in their wedding dowries, these vintage chapatti rolling pins, or belan, recall the daily ritual of rolling out unleavened dough on a chakla board to prepare the round breads essential to every Indian meal.

Gathered from different states, this collection represents a culinary tour of India. Three black pins from Rajasthan are sized wider for the northern region’s thicker chapatti. Two slender, colorful lacquered pins from the western state of Gujarat shape thin delicate roti. Two brown pins are intricately grooved to achieve the cracker-thin papadum of the southern regions.

While each is authentic, they have been preserved for display as conversation-worthy objects only.

photo by: mckaysavage

Thursday
Jan272011

one of a finds: painted elephant painting

This original canvas is hand-painted by an almost extinct community of Bollywood artists known for their kitschy, glamorous movie posters and sets. Sadly, with the Mumbai film industry’s move to digital vinyl billboards, the talent of these fine artists is no longer in demand. In an effort to keep their art alive, these paintings are created by the original masters and each is individually signed.

Once required to produce up to 20 posters a day during their movie careers, this special initiative provides the artists not only a new source of income, but also the opportunity for a slower pace focused on their skills and passion for painting. This portrait—of a divine symbol in Hindu mythology dating back over 5,000 years to the elephant-headed god Lord Ganesha—takes its inspiration from an old photograph of a painted and adorned elephant in royal procession from the Amber Fort outside Jaipur.

One of a Finds original works are offered one time only as a limited edition for collectors and enthusiasts—painted elephant painting has a release of 504.

Friday
Jan072011

the making of: dangerous liasons

Designed by Legendre+Rutter to pay homage to the 2009 theatre poster for the Canberra Repertory Society production of the 18th-century tale, “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”; Chicago designer Lance Rutter’s original illustration and lettering achieved its rich coloration and detail with a unique process that included rendering every line with a brush pen and printing directly on bright red paper.

Hand-tufted—in reverse, then backed—using Indian and New Zealand wools, each dangerous liaisons rug takes approximately two days to produce. Execution of the design is a tribute to the talent of the craftsmen who interpret the original illustration into a tapestry using just six yarn colors.

To fully appreciate the drama of the design, contact your local hardware store for hardware to hang one on a wall as artwork.

Tuesday
Jul132010

one of a finds: wagon wheel mirror

Rustic animal-drawn wagons, often up to 20’ in length, are still a common sight in India transporting people, goods and agricultural produce throughout the country—the only modernization being the change to more durable and shock-absorbing rubber tires.

Discovered in Gujarat—the westernmost state of India and a trading center since ancient times—each of these unique hardwood wheels has a history dating back to the 1930s.

Finding beauty even in the utilitarian, each worn and weathered wheel shows evidence of hand-carved concentric designs and skilled woodworking joinery piecing six sections in the round.

Over the decades, this repurposed wagon wheel mirror has traveled many miles over the rough Indian terrain to reach its final destination. Each is fit with a new polished mirror, reflecting on journeys past and the invention (and re-invention) of the wheel.