We at ABFRL, present stories excerpted from our internal newsletter ‘In Touch’, where we celebrate stories of our people and their contributions.
Handloom plays an integral role in the Indian apparel industry, representing a harmonious blend of tradition and craftsmanship. This age-old technique not only produces exquisite textiles but also champions sustainability. Handloom supports countless skilled artisans across India, preserving traditional skills and livelihoods. Each region across the country boasts its unique weave patterns and designs, showcasing the country’s diversity and is an enduring part of India’s textile heritage. As more traditional artisanal forms struggle to find their rightful place in many wardrobes, Jaypore has brought the magic back to life, albeit in a different form.
We spoke to Yamini Bhat, Designer, Home, Jaypore on how the team recreated the magic of Mumbai and Paithani, a traditional handloom art from Maharashtra in premium dinnerware Collections ‘Mausiqi’ and ‘Valleys of Sahayadri’ in a unique manner.
The motivation for both lines is evident. How did you manage to bring in the essence of monuments and handloom weaves in homeware and dinnerware?
Every piece within the enchanting realm of JAYPORE tells a captivating story of its own. Continuing the legacy of the “Mausiqi” collection, each creation draws inspiration from the timeless elegance of the classic Art Deco movement that defined the Roaring Twenties. This collection serves as a captivating window into an era that left an indelible mark on design, art, and architecture. Through meticulous attention to detail, “Mausiqi” masterfully captures the very essence of a transformative time.
Focusing on impeccably groomed designs, “Mausiqi” casts a brilliant spotlight on the intricate Art Deco that still graces Mumbai’s historic Royal Opera House. These ornate details have been ingeniously woven into the collection, creating a harmonious symphony between the past and the present. As you delve into the theme stories of “Mausiqi,” the mesmerizing fusion of Art Deco geometrics has been gracefully elevated with delicate motifs such as petals, dots, and curves. The core motif dances with the rhythm of flowing geometric patterns, while the edges of plates, bowls, mugs, and more proudly display the classic Art Deco geometrics that were inspired by the elegant window railings, majestic building facades, and the mesmerizing patterns of Terrazzo tiles.
Simultaneously, the “Valleys of Sahyadari” range captures the very essence of the majestic Sahyadri valleys, echoing the grandeur of Maharashtra’s landscapes. This resonance travels across a wide spectrum, adorning serve ware, cushion covers, and table linen with the spirit of the land. The infusion of Paithani, an art form celebrated for its intricate presence in traditional sarees, is a testament to the exceptional craftsmanship of our designers. The heart of each piece is intricately crafted with a sense of uniqueness, born from the time-honored process that finds inspiration in the textiles.
As you explore the collection, you’ll find some typical Paithani motifs such as Tota-Maina, Mor, Kamal, etc. grace our tableware collection. The luxurious textures of “Mashru” and “Himru” weaves envelop homeware accents in opulence, transforming the living space into a sanctuary of grandeur.
What were the challenges that the designers faced when recreating the magic of Paithani and Monuments of Mumbai?
While the idea of translating design elements from one artistic medium to another is indeed an intriguing dare, there is an innate peril in taking inspiration from an art form originally intended for another purpose and applying it to a collection of dinnerware or decor. The challenge lies in the harmonious transition of these design cues, ensuring that they seamlessly resonate with the new canvas while preserving their original essence.
Paithani, renowned for its rich presence in traditional sarees, boasts a design language that’s deeply rooted in textile craftsmanship. The intricate interplay of colors, patterns, and textures within Paithani sarees tells stories of heritage, culture, and tradition. However, when these same motifs are adapted to dinnerware, there’s a delicate balance that needs to be struck to maintain the integrity of both the original art form and the new canvas.
The risk lies in potentially losing the subtleties and nuances that define the textile art when transferring it to the rigid and functional world of dinnerware. What works seamlessly on a flowing saree may need to be adjusted, scaled, or transformed to complement the form and function of plates, bowls, and cups. The material, texture, and usage requirements of dinnerware differ significantly from those of clothing, and this transition demands careful consideration.
Similarly, with Mausiqi the motif story was picked up from designs that are typical to architecture, and that too one of the most iconic French architecture movements. Picking up Art Deco designs and giving them a touch of Jaypore, that Indian-ness was an exciting opportunity for our designers to push the boundaries.
To address these sensitively, meticulous craftsmanship and an in-depth understanding of both the source art form and the new medium are essential. Collaborating with artisans and an in-house design team who respect the heritage and intricacies of crafts helped us to ensure that the designs are thoughtfully adapted without compromising their essence.
Share a few interesting anecdotes on the making of these collections.
Amidst the challenging times of the pandemic, Maharashtra emerged as a region deeply affected. Our team turned its attention to this resilient state, seeking stories of inspiration. From the intricate Paithani weave to the elegant Himru and Mashru crafts, along with Mumbai’s Art Deco architecture, Maharashtra’s cultural treasures shone brightly.
This led us on a journey to reimagine these heritage crafts into innovative home decor and tableware, bridging the gap between tradition and modernity. In these creations, we found not only a celebration of Maharashtra’s rich culture but also a testament to the power of creativity during adversity.
The next time you serve delicacies to your friends and family with love, add a dash of your traditions and culture on the dining table by celebrating our artisanal community, who add color to your roots. You can Shop the Valleys of Sahyadri Collection here and Mausiqui here.