In the Press

  • Nail the nails(DNA)

    Nail the nails : Body Piercing Arrives at a new Frontier DNA(Mumbai) – Date : 22|09|2005
  • Candlelight Career(My

    Candlelight Career My – Date : 07|08|2009
  • Fruit carving(My

    My – Date : Friday, August 07, 2009
    If you are good in knife skills you can carve a career in fruit and vegetable carving, says, Purnima Goswami Sharma Any special meal, be it a wedding dinner, conference lunch or birthday party can be made attractive with an artistically carved vegetable and fruit display. Serving food attractively is a skill that has been practiced for centuries across the globe. Food presentation has been elevated to the status of an art, which requires practice. But if you are good in knife-skills you can carve a career in fruit and vegetable carving.

    “A culinary carver creates fruits and vegetables into magnificent shapes and decorative masterpieces. Carved vegetable and fruits enhance the buffet table, basically vegetable and fruit carving is a Thai art but now is popular world over,” states chef Vinoth Kumar of Sai Institute of Carving, Chennai and Trichy.

    Skills needed
    “To enter this profession, one must be creative and patient,” says Neetu Shamdasani of Neetu’s hobby classes, Mumbai who teaches vegetable and fruit carving. “One should be aware what vegetables or fruits have been picked for a particular design, as all designs are not possible on all fruits and vegetables. One should also know how ripe or raw the vegetable or fruit has to be to make a particular design on it.”

    You should know how to move the knife. What knife is to be used for what purpose. A carving knife held in different angles can work wonders in turning out different shapes. “To perform this art, eye concentration, steady hands and flair for working with fruits and vegetables is needed,” adds Vinoth. Ideally one should do a short course in carving and than do a lot of practice and keep developing new styles of craving to excel in this field.

    “As such there are no challenges in the profession as India is a land where one gets a variety of fruits and vegetables through out the year,” states Kumar. One has to keep coming up with new ideas and have the ability to look at something plain, like a pumpkin or bitter gourd, and envision making something worth treasuring out of it, even if it’s only going to last just one evening.

    “Today, carvers share a bright future with many of the main lines of our field, like baking. This intricate art of fruit carving has gained a lot of popularity over recent years. People give great importance to aesthetics, and this is a way to a man’s stomach helped by his visual senses as well. Sculpted pieces of fruits simply attract. Any vegetable or fruit can be turned into a stunning piece of art with imagination,” explains Kumar who has won many awards.

    Areas of employment
    Once you have mastered the art of vegetable and fruit carving you can be self-employed or can work with hotels, caterers and cruise liners. You can also teach the skills to others. “It’s an added skill and helps in the catering industry. Professionals with carving skills are in demand in India and abroad in the hospitality industry,” adds Kumar who is into ice and butter carvings too.

    “An individual has the potential to earn Rs 30, 000 to Rs 40, 000 approximately per month by doing carving displays/ presentation for marriages/ parties after learning this art,” says Kumar.

    Indicative list of places where you can learn food carving
    • Neetu’s Hobby Classes, Mumbai,
    • Sai Institute of Carving, Chennai
    • Culinary Academy of India, (affiliated to Osmania University), Hyderabad

  • Strokes of Elegance

    DNA – Published: Saturday, May 9, 2009, 3:05 IST
    By Humaira Ansari | Place: Mumbai | Agency: DNA

    You’ve seen those beautifully handwritten scripts inscribed on stone monuments or in religious manuscripts written on palm leaves. Now see scripts come alive through calligraphy on T-shirts, CD covers, wedding cards, mugs, books, fashion wear and even as body art.

    The aesthetics of calligraphy, i.e. the art of beautiful handwriting, has transcended into the commercial realm rather than being just confined to sophisticated use.

    Achyut Palav, a celebrated city-based calligrapher and alumni of J.J. School of Art has a studio stocked with various products done in calligraphy. Ranging from mugs, glass items to T-shirts and books, the items are worth a buy. Palav is credited to having presented calligraphic prints in a fashion show, designing logos, body painting, home interiors, event invites, wallpapers and book covers etc. “Calligraphy can be done using different techniques and in different media. I have travelled all over India and have noticed that there still exists a lacuna in the execution and utility of calligraphy” he says, adding further that he has plans to open a calligraphy school very soon.

    Says Santosh Kshirsagar, 49, professor at theJ.J. School of Art who has been in the field of calligraphy and typography for 20 years now, the key to popularising calligraphy lies in interacting with the youth and making them not only appreciate calligraphy but also motivate them to take up calligraphy in the indigenous Indian scripts. “Calligraphy is not just about acquiring the skill but it is equally about expressing yourself and adding your interpretation to the art work,” he says.

    Kshirsagar also insists that introduction of calligraphy at the school level is vital.

    At present though, J.J. School of Art runs a four year degree course in Applied Art with specialisation in photography, typography and illustration among other subjects. Calligraphy is part of the typography course. Calligraphy artists feel the scope for students learning calligraphy nowadays is varied and well paying. Since the demand has grown and commercial requirements are manifold, a student can choose to be part of the professional world in areas like jewellery designing, body art, fashion, advertising and films and begin earning a minimum salary of Rs15,000.

    While western calligraphy takes its root from the Roman alphabets, Chinese and Japanese calligraphy are still deeply entrenched in their day-to-day local tradition in the form of artefacts and gifts. Nepalese, Tibetan, Iranian calligraphy have also stood the test of the time. With 10 scripts existing in India, when it comes to Indian calligraphy, there is scope for a lot more work.

    Both Kshirsagar and Palav feel that there is a need to give a boost to the Indian scripts and their usage in calligraphic work. Bengali, Devanagari, Urdu, Malayalam, Tamil, Kannada, Telugu, Oriya, Gujarati and Gurumukhi are the 10 Indian scripts. Palav states that Bengali and Devanagari are quite popular.

    Kalpesh Gosavi, 22, a third year student from Kshirsagar’s class of typography at J.J. School of Art is happy that he opted for the course. In a class of 18 students, every two students from Kshirsagar’s class have worked extensively on one script and have come up with a manual.

    While there are different styles like Gothic, Sharpened Italic, Rustica andCorolingian, Roman calligraphy is quite popular.

    Neetu Saneja, who has been running private calligraphy classes for the last nine years, says that the response has certainly increased over the years and her student profile ranges from kids aged 10 years to elderly people. “The awareness level pertaining to calligraphy is certainly growing and though I teach only English calligraphy as of now, enquiries about calligraphy in other scripts have started coming in,” she says. Kshirsagar cites an incident in the ’90s, when at an international symposium, a foreign calligrapher asked him, “With computer and technology will calligraphy die?” to which he had replied, “Letters are used for some purpose of communication and the purpose of communication will not die even if the device undergoes a change.”

  • No piece of Cake

    DNA(Mumbai) – Date : 22|09|2005