Astha Malu’s ceramic journey reflects a gradual transition from non-functional artworks to user-friendly utility products
When did you become passionate about clay?
AM: Mitti or clay has always been vital part of our life. There is always an element of surprise with clay. From molding it in various forms for various functions to fascinating detailing and textures, I believe that clay can speak one’s thoughts, no matter how chaotic or peaceful they are.
My ceramic journey started a decade ago when I was pursuing my Bachelor’s studies - majoring in Sculpture (Fine Arts). My passion for ceramic and its hand-forming techniques grew when I was a guest faculty of ceramics at Kamla Raheja Vidyanidhi Institute for Architecture and Environmental Studies in Mumbai. I went on to do my Master’s in Industrial Design at National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, where I majored in Ceramic & Glass Design.
I learnt a lot at NID - from expressing my inner self through sculpture to understanding the user’s requirements, material’s production limitations and eventually developing userfriendly products, packaging and online marketing.
What led to ‘Pattterned Studio’?
AM: I always imagined launching a brand offering customized products and services and during my final year at NID I initiated research and mapping on my startup. The thoughts got fine-tuned while working on live projects at NID as well as later, when I was working at Klove Studio in New Delhi. Simultaneously, I designed the logo. By the end of 2016, I had quit my job. I did internships with Parkwest Ceramics and Everlasting Fire Studio in Chicago, refined my understanding about efficient studio setups, and in January 2017, started Pattterned Studio in Mumbai. The name was inspired by my experiencing and observing set patterns in and around my life. The three Ts in the name are the three pillars of my venture: Home Decor Products, Public Installations and Accessories.
What’s your design philosophy? Why do you mostly create functional ceramics?
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