Thursday, February 14, 2019

Reminiscing few memorable moments from 2018

Dropping by to document some wonderful moments from 2018.

Home & Design - Mpls.St.Paul Magazine a very popular local design magazine did a beautiful feature on our home, my pottery work and blog on their September 2018 Issue.

It was a great experience working with Kelly Kegans, the wonderful Editor and Caitlin Abrams, their talented Staff Photographer.

Loved the beautiful Pause to Connect introduction to our feature by Kelly!

Absolutely loved the fact that a Midwest Design Magazine appreciates diversity in design and style and is inclusive of such features.

It has been five wonderful years of pursuing my love for clay and 2018 marked the year when I took a leap of faith and decided to sell my pottery work at Minneapolis Craft Market ~ A vibrant creative community.

 Ceramic necklaces

Archana Srinivas Pottery did sell on ETSY before but for craft fairs one needs to build an inventory of pots. The latter half of the year saw me throwing pots, loads of them:-)

Carved Stoneware Mugs.

Archana Srinivas Pottery Stall at the Linden Hills Holiday Market

A dream did come true that day. A potter’s dream that took five years and how rewarding. So grateful for all the wonderful, talented, warm hearted individuals whose paths were meant to cross mine. A big thank you from the bottom of my heart to all who supported me in this journey.

One very important person, Mr. Husband who is my biggest supporter, who helps me follow my 'Ikigai' Thank you!

Sending out loads of love and gratitude into the universe. Dream on.... they do come true!

( Images by Arch)

Friday, June 08, 2018

On the Potter's Wheel: Warren MacKenzie Studio Visit

I heard the name Warren MacKenzie for the first time five years back as a beginner in studio pottery.

A famous North American Craft potter known to bring the Japanese 'Mingei' folk art style of pottery to Minnesota.

I was super excited when I had an opportunity to visit the legendary potter in his studio in Stillwater, Minnesota.
Warren Mackenzie Studio with the traditional kick wheels

Warren demonstrates the making of a pot.

He was born in 1924 in Illinois, US. At the age of 94 he is a personification of humor, continues to throw pots in his studio with his assistants and narrates wonderful stories from his long life as a potter.
Potter's tools

Warren and his first wife Alix Mackenzie studied with Bernard Leach in Britain during 1949-1952
His functional 'everyday' pots are deeply influenced by oriental aesthetics of Shoji Hamada

Old wooden combs and wheels used to alter and surface decorate the pots.

The pots that he demonstrated for us.

Warren's stamps on wet clay.

He has always kept the prices of his pots low as his goal was to make everyday functional pots that people can use in their daily life. With fame, his work also became collectors' items hence became expensive pieces. At one point he stopped signing his pots for that purpose.

Studio amongst nature in rural Minnesota.

Greenware drying in the studio.

Warren MacKenzie's unique clay made by Continental Clay especially for him.

Shoji Hamada poster on the studio wall.

Glazing tools

Glazing studio with bisque ware.

Warren is extremely forthcoming in sharing his techniques and clay recipe. It's written on his studio wall for anyone to learn!

One of the gas kilns.

Warren Mackenzie was also a teacher at the University of Minnesota and continues to share his knowledge of pottery even today at his studio.

Sharing few frames of glazed pottery that were up for sale at his studio. Some made by him and some by his talented assistants.

Sharing a hearty laugh with Warren.

It was an honor and once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Mr. Warren Mackenzie in his studio and see him throw pots and share his knowledge with us.

Hope all of you liked this post that I completely enjoyed making for you all!

( Images by Arch and are copyrighted. Please do not use without permission)

Friday, May 04, 2018

Sparrow Cafe | South Minneapolis

It's taken me more than a year to get here.
Not just to be posting here in my creative space, my blog Rang Decor but to reach this space in my heart to slow down and get back to storytelling through blogging.

So, lets get the ball rolling with a feature on Sparrow Cafe.

One sunny winter morning Heidi Van Heel, a longtime blogger friend and I met over a cup of chai in this quaint little cafe in South Minneapolis.

The name itself conjures up images of chirpy little birds fluttering around. Aroma of freshly brewed coffee, delightful bird art and a smiling face welcomed me.

(These images I had to steal from my Insta-stories as I seem to have deleted the original ones! I promised myself to start carrying my dSLR camera again)

Sparrow Cafe serves fair-trade coffee and tea sourced sustainably by the owners Sheila & Jasper.
They envisaged a beautiful space where people could enjoy local artisanal baked goods and great beverages.
A great space to catch up with friends, work on your laptop with a cup of coffee or just sit and watch the world go by.

Gorgeous 300 square foot mural inspired by sparrows by local artists Broken Crow

The vibe is artistic and that of a welcoming neighborhood cafe!

 Little sparrows everywhere:-)

Loved the ceiling crown molding and the birds stenciled art!

Hope you liked this feature on local Minneapolis cafe interiors.

(Images by Arch and are copyrighted. Please do not use without permission)

Thursday, March 02, 2017

Rang Style: Pure Ghee Designs

What is Rang Style?
Earlier this year I shared with all the blog readers that Rang Decor is evolving to encompass all the wonderful designs related to fashion, textiles, jewelry and more.

Today on the inaugural post I am sharing with you all an accessory brand that creates bags distinguished by color, craftsmanship and signature charms.

Pure Ghee Designs.
The vibrant colors, the attention to details on every aspect of their product and inherently Indian in design sensibility caught my attention.

Pure Ghee Design is the creation of Aditi Prakash who is a sculptor and industrial design post graduate from the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad one of the top design schools in the world.

Keya Mini Sling Bag

Aditi's  work is deeply inspired by the  rich colors and textiles of India. She started Pure Ghee Designs in 2010.

Red Suvi Bag

The name Pure Ghee came about when one of her craftsperson presented her with a dabba ( tin container) of homemade pure ghee or clarified butter. It was the best gift he could think of, it was handmade, it signified quality and a taste that had no substitute.

Multicolored Gajra Hair accessory

 Potli from the Raat Rani Collection

Red Quilted Shopping Bag

When I wrote to Aditi about doing a post on Pure Ghee Designs, she suggested a creative collaboration. I loved her enthusiasm and decided to visualize, style & shoot with some of the wonderful Pure Ghee Design products.

So presenting visuals & words.

Scene I 

Damini~ Ma, I am wearing the brocade half sari with deep pink tiny floral prints today, can I borrow your tie-up high heel sandals please?

Tara, looking up from pleating the soft silk sari between her fingers, 'Sure go ahead. Are you braiding your hair? 

Yep. Why?

I completely forgot to order fresh Jasmine flowers yesterday. It would have looked great with the braids.

Damini smiling  ~No worries Ma. Look!

Tara's face lit up with admiration as she looked at her daughter.

Fuchsia Gajra

Scene II

Ironing her crimson silk blouse on her bed, Kavita's thoughts meandered to Delhi. She remembered fondly her best friends wedding with an early morning Muhurtham. She had worn the same sari on a cold winter morning and made heads turn.

She peeped out from her Michigan home window, the sun had finally come out after a week of snow.

Kavita looked at the Gajra Potli draped on her chair and smiled. She was going to recreate that same magical entrance but in a new place.

Gold Leaf Gajra Potli

Scene III

Kia looked at her watch, 4.06 pm. Where did all the time go?

Completely engrossed in numbers and graphs on her presentation.

Thankfully a big batch of soup was simmering on the stove. Ah! Dinner taken care of.

Ting Tong the doorbell chimes.

How was your day sweetie ?

Mom, the soccer practice starts at 4.30p.m. today replied Maya

Are you kidding me? It's 4.10 pm already!
Maya, go get your snack from the kitchen, let me grab my bag & the keys! We are out in 5.

Keya Sling Bag.

To know more about the Pure Ghee Story, do watch the video below where Aditi talks about how it all began 7 years ago.

Pure Ghee Design Studio is based out of Ayanagar, a suburban village in South Delhi. Aditi believes in creating sustainable livelihood for the women and youth in the local area.

Aditi in her studio

Pure Ghee Design's Signature Charm

Aditi with her team of women & young artisans

Hope all of you liked the new feature Rang Style and the wonderful brand Pure Ghee Designs.

You can check out the beautifully crafted products at 

Stay updated on the latest on Facebook

Enjoy the visuals on Instagram

( Images & Video by Pure Ghee Designs. Visualization, styling & shoot by Archana Srinivas in creative collaboration with Pure Ghee Designs. The images are copyrighted. Please do not use without permission)