10 Fantastic Makers You Can’t Miss At The Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2017

We handpick some of the incredible talent on display at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival this year.

One of the most anticipated events in the city of Mumbai, the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival sees art aficionados and connoisseurs alike flock to the Fort area in great numbers every year. This year, too, Mumbaikars didn’t disappoint, and thronged the festival to show their love and appreciation for the magnificent artwork and exceptional talent on display. Given our love for all things involving skill and craftsmanship, the Engrave team visited Kala Ghoda and covered the event live on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat to offer you a glimpse into the wonderful creations on display. For all those who missed it, we will return tomorrow to cover the event live yet again, but if you’re planning to visit this week for yourself, here’s a list of the ten stalls that you might want to keep an eye out for.

1. Pinklay

Situated right in the beginning at stall no.1, Pinklay is a lifestyle brand that is the brainchild of an extremely lively, cheerful lady called Daisy. Armed with a lifetime of love for art and everything handmade, Daisy launched the brand a year and a half ago, with the aim to create gorgeous handmade home decor. “Since then, we have also expanded into wedding decor, gifting items, and a full range of collection for kids,” she adds. “What I love about our products is that they are made by underprivileged women who are first taught the art and subsequently upskilled, which allows them to make a proud, honest living as well.”

Pinklay at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2017

Her Favourite Product: The Unicorn Soft Toy (pictured bottom left):

“I firmly believe that colour is at the heart of any art, and the vibrancy of this unicorn toy really appeals to kids of all ages. It brings instant happiness and gratification into the life of any child, which makes it my favourite!”

2. Poppadum Art

A venture by the very creative and talented Saanwari Gorwaney, Poppadum Art is another home decor and lifestyle brand that aims to be fun, different, and most importantly, quirky.

“When I first started six years ago, I realised that making a house was, well, boring. There was nothing in the market that could be a reflection of our personality — something that epitomises the very idea of being young and free,” says Saanwari. “Home decor is the prime focus, but we also sell kitchenware, dining products, teapots, and planters!”

Poppadam Art at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2017

Her Favourite Product: The Streetlight Shaker (pictured bottom right)

“It’s one of my most creative and practical products. Furthermore, it was one of the first ones I created, so it’ll always hold a special place in my heart!”

3. Fun Plates

Rushang Shah’s Fun Plates might still be in its concept trial phase, but their ‘customisable yet readily available novelty gifting products’ have created quite the stir at Kala Ghoda. “Our nameplate designs are based on number plates, which are made out of pure aluminium. Everything is manufactured in-house — and while we’re yet to officially launch our brand, the response here has been nothing short of terrific!”, says a clearly thrilled Rushang.

“We aim to make a range of aspirational and quirky products, and so apart from number plates, we also sell keychains, bookmarks, personalised plates, coasters, postcards, and even bags!”

Fun Plates at Kala Ghoda Arts Fesival 2017

His Favourite Product: The Personalised Nameplates (pictured bottom right)

“What I love about the nameplates is that the customer has the complete freedom to design it to their heart’s content. All they have to do is explain what they want, and it’s ready within two or three minutes!”

4. The Tribe

Best friends Dinesh and Hitesh (aka Kali and Paps) started The Tribe over two years ago with the aim of carving a niche in the market. “The products we make are completely eco-friendly, and we also only use refurbished wood,” says Dinesh. “While we started out with sunglasses, we have since successfully expanded to watches and iPhone case covers as well — all of which are, of course made using real wood.”

The Tribe at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2017

Their Favourite Product: The Wood Sunglasses (pictured top right and bottom left)

“The wood sunglasses have a very tribal feel about them. They were also the first thing we ever created, so it holds sentimental value as well!”

5. Studio Incy Wincy

As anyone who’s ever had a kid will tell you, finding the right kind of clothing for their kid can be quite the pain. “When my sister and I had our own kids, we realised it’s very difficult to get our hands on good clothing. That, together with our love for Indian textiles, inspired us to laugh Studio Incy Wincy three years ago.”

The brand today creates a gorgeous range of t-shirts using hand-block printing for kids between the ages of 1-10 years.

Incy Wincy Kalaghoda Art Festival

Incy Wincy at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2017

Her Favourite Product: The Incy Wincy Spider Tee (pictured bottom left)

“I love this t-shirt because it reminds me of the Incy Wincy spider nursery rhyme my kids would recite all day long. That’s exactly the inspiration behind our brand name too!”

6. Era

Reviving lost Indian art isn’t easy, but sculptor Rupali Madan is well on her way to do that using her work. “Take a tour around the old temples and caves in India, and we’ll find India has a rich history in sculpting and art. And yet, the modern Indian remains well unaware of how gorgeous and significant our past is. That’s what we’re trying to change,” says Rupali, who has been running Era since 2008. “The idea behind Era is to make ancient Indian art accessible to everyone — in the form of affordable artwork, furniture, fashion accessories, and decor. Every Indian deserves to know the sheer beauty of our past, and the brand aims to take you one step closer in that direction.”

Era at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2017

Her Favourite Product: The 1947 Inspired Doorknob (pictured top right in her hands)

“Instead of using boring everyday doorknobs, I’d love for people to try the ones that were used back in the day. Furthermore, these are made by underprivileged women with the help of NGOs, and knowing that makes this creation all the more special to me.”

7. Ink Trails

Step into her stall, and it’s evident that Bangalore based Archana’s love for art and illustrations is unmatchable. An architect by profession, she fell in love with illustrations while studying, and hasn’t looked back since. “I visiting new cities and creating a series based on the wonderful encounters and adventures I have in those new places,” says Archana. “Hailing from Bangalore, my first series was about all things Bengaluru, but for Kala Ghoda, I specifically visited the city well in time, and have created a series based on the iconic structures and the dying Irani cafes in Mumbai.”

Ink Trails at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2017

Her Favourite Product: The VT Illustration (pictured top right)

“Historically speaking, VT is significant to Mumbai, and continues to be so even today. Given everything the structure has seen and been through, you can tell it has tremendous character. I spent many sleepless nights behind this piece, too, which makes it my favourite!”

8. Neil Dantas

Bold, daring, and charmingly unabashed, Neil Dantas and his creative tees are difficult to miss while strolling around Kala Ghoda. While he launched the brand in 2007, Neil says his love for doodling and creative art goes further back, right when he was a kid. “I grew up in the East side of Charni Road. And as anyone who’s from there will tell you, it’s not an easy place to grow up in, but it teaches you plenty about life!”, says Neil. “I love brands as much as the next guy, but I love my country and its people too. And thus, I created a fusion of the two — Indianised western wear with funny quotes or messages that the common man can easily relate to.”

Neil Dantas at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival

His Favourite Product: The Om Allah T-Shirt (pictured top right)

“I love this, because it encompasses the beauty of both religions in one tee. While everyone seems to love it, very few can actually wear it — they’re afraid of the backlash, you see! I’m waiting for the day we can all wear this and coexist peacefully, and that’s why it’s my favourite creation.”

9. Takshni

A product designer by trade, Richa’s Takshni draws heavy inspiration from the Dokra craft. “I started about two years ago, creating products primarily made out of glass, copper, and bronze,” she reminisces. “The idea behind my brand is to create a contemporary and personalised version of the stunning Dokra craft, by trying to fuse glass, copper, and bronze with materials like wood and ceramic, that can then be used in regular homes.”

Takshini at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2017

Her Favourite Product: The Meditator (pictured top left)

“It’s a spectacular creation by itself — but its true beauty lies in the way it’s constructed. Place it atop a lamp, and the light and rays will pass through it, making the visual nothing short of stunning.”

10. Vintage Veda

Run by two pleasant souls called Ashish and Gunjan, Vintage Veda is a home decor brand — albeit, with a twist. “While we do create a lot of innovative and practical home decor items, we also design our own furniture, paint traditional art on furniture, and paint murals on walls as well,” says Ashish. “We love art, but we also love practicality, so it’s only fair that we fuse the two to create the products we make at Vintage Veda!”

Vintage Veda at Kala Ghoda Arts Festival 2017

Their Favourite Product: The Book Shaped Tissue Holder (pictured top right in her hands)

“As we said, we love innovation and practical application of our art — and this gorgeous creation epitomises that idea to a tee!”

Rameez Shaikh

Rameez Shaikh is a twenty-three year old writer. With a degree in journalism to his name, he's an aspiring author with an absolutely astounding admiration for alliteration. Leisure propels him to read, dance, pen fiction and gloat about himself in third person. On weekdays, he works as a features writer. On weekends, he's a Manchester United fan.

1 Comment

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    Parvesh uppal February 09, 2017

    I liked Takshni.s product really very artistic n attractive especially lady with lamp n Buddha in different styles all pieces shows creativity of artistn designer


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