metaphor1001's Shop Announcement

Spring-Summer Discount 10% off

Elegant, eclectic, unusual, memorable. Whatever you find here will be all that.

Beauty does not lie in color, shape or embellishment, but in that coming to harmony of all elements in an object -- an indescribable balance of proportion that will please the eye and gladden the soul. I bring this philosophy of taste to my selections for this store, and hope that my visitors and buyers are delighted by what they see. Bengal's best aesthetic, 'culturally translated' for you.

BENGAL: I started this store with a potpourri of Indian items. Now I am working with what I know intimately-- the art and craft of Bengal (West Bengal in India) and its cultural heritage. That means its silks, cottons, muslins, jute, indigo, its weaving and dyeing heritage, its terracotta and iron dhokra art, its filigree silver and gold, its embroidery (kantha), its literature, and monsoon landscape, and every aspect of Calcutta's long and cosmopolitan history. My customers can look forward to even better products and traveler's 'finds.'

INSPIRATION FOR POTTERY ORIGINALS: These are labors of love. I make them in memory of the culture and bounty of my people in West Bengal and India, who I left a decade ago and have never really parted from. I try to reinterpret the folk art of those places, not trying to usurp the talent of the real village artists, but trying to pay homage to their aesthetic in a way that might be both intellectually/aesthetically satisfying and new. I also draw inspiration from my sojourn beyond India and you will likely find the occasional Modernist influence here and there.

These are handmade, ORIGINALS, and individually conceptualized. I do not use computerized designs, nor do I copy anyone else's. I do try to keep the style of the women folk of Bengal who draw 'alpana' from inspiration and with joy on festive occasions. I go with the ‘flow,’ as ‘alpana’ is meant to be drawn.

The MOTIFS might sometimes seem familiar to you because they are the flora and traditional symbolizations of life in India, common to all its ethnic groups. I keep to earth colors—green, red—and ivory (the color of rice-paste, the original medium of ‘alpana’) on terracotta because that is identifiably Bengal. But the final designs are unique. I can honestly say that each of the items I paint is an original, and will likely never be replicated by me.

FAR AIMS: Right now, this shop is fair-trade, and making just enough to be here on Etsy. Eventually, I hope it will lead to projects that will make enough to fund artisan-led projects in India and other places. Without that 'giving back' all this beauty will be mere embellishment.

This shop accepts Etsy Gift Cards.