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Enchanted by art

Enamelling works by the artists, Sarita and Pankaj Moghe, are eye-catching

Photo: S. Gopakumar

BRIMMING WITH IDEAS: Pankaj Moghe at work

ENCHANTED BY the aesthetical appeal of Indian handicrafts, Pankaj Moghe and his wife, Sarita, decided to give up their high-profile jobs in Mumbai and concentrate on fashioning a career in the handicrafts sector.

"We felt that it could give us greater satisfaction. We looked around and found that there was not enough of innovation, experimentation or diversification. Most artists seemed content with making the same things but in larger quantities. What suffered were quality and aesthetics. We wanted to see if we could come up with something that was special, aesthetic and had quality," says Moghe who has a stall at the Purbashree exhibition in the city.

Artistic creations

On display are his watercolours, oils and other artistic creations in porcelain, wood and glass.

Of particular interest is the Nagpur-based artists' 3-dimensional (3-D) oil paintings combining natural rocks. The meenakari (enamelling) work done on glass pieces and mounted on wooden blocks is yet another eye-catching work at his stall.

"It is very difficult to mimic nature. I wanted to make my paintings as realistic as possible. So, I tried using bits of rocks to give a 3-D effect to my paintings," explains Moghe, pointing to a scenery he has embellished with bits of rock.

Medium

Determined to break free from the conventional methods of paintings, the duo work on different media such as glass, wood, porcelain, clay, fibre and metals.

"For instance, meenakari work is traditionally done on gold ornaments. I felt that any kind of glittering surface could be used for enamelling and started working on glass. The effect was startling and it is something that appeals to most customers," he says.

Moghe also offers classes in glass painting, 3-D painting, glass frosting and etching. Pleased with the response in Thiruvananthapuram, he says: "I have 15 students. Most of them want to learn 3-D painting. Three of them are men, former senior Government bureaucrats, who are all into glass painting."

However, Moghe admits that he has been disappointed by the response of customers in Thiruvananthapuram.

"Customers are willing to splurge on furniture, linen and clothes. But they feel that even Rs. 300 is expensive for a painting. I asked them how much they paid a mason or a carpenter. When they said around Rs. 250 to Rs. 300, I wanted to know if they felt that an artists' work was somehow less than that."

S.N.

Photo: S. Gopakumar

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