Handcrafted and produced on a small scale—that’s the initial criteria for a ticket to retail your products at the Paper Boat Collective (PBC). A design store launched on 25 January in Sangolda, Goa, the PBC puts together a limited-edition, curated collection of furniture, ceramics, apparel, art, photography and more, all of which is representative of a contemporary Indian design identity but rooted in organic, handmade and traditional techniques.
Ceramist Bhagyashree Patwardhan first thought of the PBC as a common space where contemporary Indian designers—most of whom happen to be alumni of the National Institute of Design (NID), Ahmedabad—could showcase their works and retail from. “Just like me, there are lots of artists and designers who are from NID and are creating through their own design studios spread across the country. My idea was to put their work under one roof because there’s a synergy in all our works,” she says.
In 2011, Patwardhan collaborated with another ceramist, Thomas Louis, and the duo set up Monkey Business, a ceramics company, first in Mumbai, then in Goa. Monkey Business is the parent company for the PBC and its inherent philosophy—“art ware: a bit quirky, bit of utility, bit of design and some skill”, according to Patwardhan—runs through all the other collections showcased at the PBC as well.
Furniture by the Bangalore-based design company bent by design includes its Yoga Chair, a slender wooden chair with a curved seat and back that allows you to sit cross-legged, as in Padmasana. Delhi-based children’s store SotoMoto has put up trunks, children’s patchwork quilts, birds and aeroplane chimes, stuffed toys and cushions. A rack of dresses, tops and stoles are from the Auroville-based Rangoli, which works only with handwoven, organic cotton. Pune-based Doodle factory brings out its illustrated diaries, magnets, bookmarks, coasters and bags. There’s watercolour art and printed postcards by Prashant Miranda, an artist who divides his time between India and Canada. Among others, there is a shelf of Patwardhan’s Monkey Business ceramic utility pots and a playful collection of ceramic vases and décor items inspired by the underwater world.
“We at Monkey Business believe that it’s important to have fun with clay. If you fool around with the material, only then you realize its possibilities or its limitations,” says Louis, partner and artist behind Monkey Business. Pathwardhan attributes the inspiration for their Underwater world collection to come from Louis. “Thomas is almost a fish!” she laughs.
Housed in a quaint Portuguese home with green and ivory windows, on the Calangute-Panjim highway, the PBC is away from the crowded tourist markets. Yet the neighbourhood has other stores that call for a stopover. Designer Malini Ramani’s lifestyle store Dreamscape and the luxury antique furniture store Saudades, set in an Indo-Portuguese mansion, are nearby. Next week, a barbecue restaurant will open up in PBC’s backyard—a retreat for design aficionados and a place to soak in the cultural fiesta that Goa is.
The Paper Boat Collective is located at 248, Bella Vista, Chogm Road, Sangolda, Goa. Prices for knick-knacks, clothes and accessories range from Rs.100-15,000. Furniture prices go up to Rs.50,000 and art up to Rs.85,000.