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I stared at the picture for a long time, all the while thinking, wish I could see the cotton rug. I was drooling over a Dhurrie called Scion on Facebook.

The subliminal flow of royal blue colour dyed and suspended in a way that seemed like a wave of deep blue water frozen as it ebbed away from the shoreline. The minimalist block printing started where the dyed colour ended. It became a must to find out more about the brand Pomegranate Fabrics.

Handwoven Table Runner - Soleil

Soon after, Imbyou collaborated with the design studio called Pomegranate Fabrics, based in Bangalore, India. With more then 17 years of experience as designers in the Textile Industry, the husband wife duo of Mahesh Kumar Ramachandaran and is wife Deepa Somsundaram, founded the textile studio with an aim to marry traditional textile craft with contemporary visual aesthetics.

In their own words: “we have been involved in the designing of home furnishing textiles for the Global market and have been aware of the impact on the diminishing craft industry. Pomegranate Fabrics is an initiative to support and sustain craft and craftsmanship.”

Nomad handwoven cotton table runner

I have always been curious as to how do designers do what they do. So I had the opportunity to ask Mahesh a few questions with the hope that it will give the readers a peek into a creative person’s mind.

Me:  Which was the moment  or who was the person who influenced you to become a designer.

Mahesh: Vijaya, my Maths teacher, saw my potential and suggested that I should apply for National Iinstitute of Design. There was very less exposure about NID those days. My parents supported me in my decision to become a designer.

Me: If you were not a designer, what would you be?

Mahesh: I would have become an Air Force fighter Pilot

Me: Is trend important for you in your work?

Mahesh: Yes. Very much. Our design collections are based on Fashion and Home Decor Trend Forecasts. We are atleast 1 year ahead of the present trend as it takes that long for our products to reach the market.

Me: Whose work do you look upto the most?

Mahesh: There are many inspirational personalities. To name a few, Shyam Ahuja is definitely a role model. Also artist like Mark Rothko for his play with colours, Junichi Arai and other shibori artists for their play with techniques and of course Indian crafts itself is a very big inspiration.

Me: Which part of your design process do you enjoy the most?

Mahesh: Concept Development and Creation

Me: What would be your dream project?

Mahesh (speaking on behalf of Deepa as well): Our Dream project is to create a Crafts Village, where in one gets to experience different crafts and interact with the craftsperson and can learn the skill. The perfect unison of design and craft, translating into functional and aesthetically appealing lifestyle product. It will be a platform for the recognition of these craftsmen and suitable rewards to encourage their creativity and skill. An inspiration for the next generation to sustain the craft itself.

Me:  How important is culture in your work?

Mahesh: Culture is very important in our work as we are inspired from Indian Crafts. Crafts is a mirror and it reflects our ancient values and culture itself.

Moving onto  something more everyday, I wanted to know a bit about Mahesh and Deepa’s studio life.

Me: What is that one object you cannot do without in your studio?

Mahesh: My desktop.

Me: How would you describe your studio

Mahesh: My studio is casually comfortable.

Me: What is your observation on the Indian design scene in today’s time?

 Mahesh:The awareness about design and designers have increased in the last 2 decades. There is a recognition for good design and there are many good designers in various disciplines of design.

I have always wondered if designers use their own designs at home.

Me: Do you use your own design at home?

Mahesh: Yes. We do use our design at home. Scion dhurrie in our home lounge.

What are the chances!! My favourite design.

Thats all folks.

Pomegranate Fabrics are available to buy at Imbyou.

Image courtesy – Vallari, Mahesh.


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