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October 18, 2019 Comments (0) Views: 162 Design, Lifestyle, Product

Through their tableware brand Baarique, Malika Budhiraj and Surkhi Matharu are using contemporary design to revive ancient Ayurvedic wisdom

What led to idea of a tableware brand?

About seven years ago, on a road trip in Leh we were served butter tea and thukpa in traditional metal utensils and that inspired us to start our own tableware brand. The idea was to encourage the work of local artists through functional art by collaborating with metal-smiths to explore handmade techniques. We wanted to revive ancient Ayurvedic wisdom through contemporary design by working with pure and opulent metals such as brass, bronze and copper, which have countless Ayurvedic benefits.

The Bombay Canteen – moras bhaji plate

Introduce us to Baarique.

When we started working on our first couple of designs, the word ‘baarique’ was constantly used by our local artists to describe the artwork to each other, and we felt it perfectly described the essence of the brand – hence the name. Baarique works with artisans and a team of miniature painting artists from different parts of Rajasthan who produce sustainable traditional metal utensils, such as glasses, plates, cutlery, bowls and some traditional Indian tableware such as lotas and thali sets.

Mithu Kansa Dinner Set

What inspires you?

We customize our artwork based on the esthetics and history of the cuisine being served on our tableware. Our designs are influenced by art, ranging from the gorgeous house boats of Kerala that are intricately hand crafted and covered in flowers, to the gorgeous trees like laburnum and gulmohar trees.

Vintage Dove

How challenging has the journey been?

As two 23-year-old girls straight out of design school, going for boardroom meetings with hotel chains was extremely overwhelming. Finding vendors, metal smiths and artisans in small towns was not easy – men would have a hard time taking us seriously. But we’ve been extremely lucky – our families were very supportive. The hospitality industry has been exceptionally kind.

This article was originally published in POOL 109.

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