In April of that year, I created an Instagram account called Jellyfish Pottery where I posted some of my newbie work. And wildly enough, people seemed to love.” That November, Singla opened her own studio and quickly launched a bouquet of handcrafted products, including bowls, plates, plates, mugs, hard doilies and tableware, while simultaneously taking orders for corporate and custom gifts, tableware for Method Art Gallery cum Cafe ( Mumbai ), custom cutlery for chefs, murals and custom collections for online brands. “Pottery is a perfect combination of four of nature’s elements. You use water and clay to shape it, air to dry it and fire to finish it.” Singla’s designs take their hat off to nature in more ways than one: “I used everything from the colors of the sunset to the texture of a tree bark as my inspiration. I often collect leaves and flowers and press them into the clay to create leaf-inspired pieces. But it works both ways. Every time I open an oven, it’s always a surprise to see the glaze come out. No two pieces are the same.”
Garden ornaments, whimsical tableware and cute kitchen tiles—Shibani Dhavalikar’s hand-painted ceramics might as well have come out of a storybook. “The business was born by chance about four years ago when I quit my job in the teaching field in pursuit of a more creative life,” says the ceramic maker, who specializes in ceramic surface decoration, especially in what is known as over- glaze painting, a technique that involves painting ceramic surfaces that have already been glazed.
“Before I was introduced to this medium, I believed you had to be a potter to be able to paint pottery or ceramics. But that’s not the case with overglazes. It allows everyday objects like your cutlery and kitchen tiles to be hand painted and used, and the possibilities of customization are endless.” Her collections include tableware, ceramic signage, kitchen tiles, ornaments and wall decor. Dhavalikar’s love for nature manifests itself in various ways. “Bright and bold floral patterns are a mainstay across my collections, and recently I’ve developed a whole range of garden decor for nature lovers like myself. We’ve also replaced all our plastic packaging with paper and fabric,” she says.