Wednesday 2 November 2016

The Humble Serving Tray

The Humble Serving Tray.
Mughal Queen  Serving Tray

My original quest was to make paintings and create images by hand to capture my audience. I still paint and draw but I found another wonderful way to showcase my ideas and designs. I started embellishing the humble tray quite by accident.
I never thought of paintings on trays before and spent a great deal of time and effort creating complicated mosaics to embellish trays. It was a vintage tv tray absently thrown in a garage sale that caught my eye.  I am talking about the metal ones you might have seen like the one below.
Here is my rendering of the tv tray that I like to think of more as a butler’s tray, or a folding table in mosaic tile.

have always loved detailed intricate art and painting. As a child I spent hours staring at a book of paintings acquired from the red fort in Delhi containing prints from Akbar’s Hamzaname and many more delightfully detailed Mughal miniatures. Much of my painting derives its source from this inspiration and the same goes for the digital images I create.
The Karachi Lahore Table Tray
This tray is inspired by a decoration of an old shipping lines company I found on a vintage matchbox. Karachi is a bustling port city and has been for over a century. Goods travel between Karachi and Lahore often via the large painted trucks. People are always commuting between the two cities. Mall Road and Queens Road are the old colonial names that have persisted despite many attempts to rename these bustling thoroughfares in the heart of the cities of Karachi and Lahore.

And there is the unending quest to create the image that will be in essence from Pakistan. This is why I made trays that are fun images of Karachi, Lahore and Pakistan as we know it.
The mosaic trays are like an extension of my painting. I keep returning to watercolor as my medium of choice because I think the fragmented, fractured image holds my imagination. I am constantly deconstructing my world and putting it back together, something a mosaic artist will truly understand. There is a lot of historic mosaic which I have deep respect for and want my audience to appreciate. I will reproduce it and even the humble tray deserves its application for it to transcend to something,  that has been painstakingly rendered into an object of unique art.

Tuesday 9 August 2016

Handcut Mosaic Art, Gaudi and the Star Spangled Banner

It has been long since I wrote a blog post. I have created a whole new web site since and added so many new products to the Craft Company family. My aim to produce more items that are personal, handmade and a constant pleasure to my customer has me trying to fashion that perfect product all the time.

I have lived in a few different countries and seem to love them all often with great nostalgia. I seem to tear up every time I hear a national anthem although I have no affinity to any single country and abhor wars and conflict based on politics and borders. I have had this idea that all of us identify with some place geographically, whether we live there, visit it or spend some happy moments there. Isn't this why people buy souvenirs?

On a recent trip to Spain I made it a point to visit their gift stores and felt a little sad that I couldn't find more personal items to take back home with me. I bought a lot of their marzipan, cheese and edible goodies but not much more. But I was surrounded by Gaudi's mosaic and it inspired me to come back home and create wall art that was lively and yet must mean something to the residents of all those lovely villas he designed.

Mosaic art lovers like me love to see pattern and form take shape from the careful construct of laying tile and building a mosaic piece by piece. I thought of flags people could identify with and the ancient mosaics of Pompeii. They might be versions of replicas but sometimes an image can lead to a labyrinth of happy memories. Meandering through and witnessing the grand mosaics of Alhambra and Seville and the cheerful art of the new of the majestic Gaudi seems to have inspired me in this direction! What do you think?