Featured Designer – Tejas Soni

Tejas Soni

Tejas Soni, a graduate from the Indian Institute of Crafts and Design, was the first to sign up with us on Zaarga. When Tejas’ love for Nature, sculpturing expertise and creativity  come together, what results are timeless pieces that design conossieurs would love to collect and cherish forever.  By resurrecting the forgotten craft techniques, Tejas makes craft a viable livelihood for the craftsmen and reminds us of a cultural heritage that we need to sustain, promote and be proud of.


Team Zaarga is proud to introduce you to the creative genius behind the much acclaimed Lily and Banana bowls

 1. Can you tell us something about yourself?


I belong to a family of goldsmiths in Gujarat. I have always had a strong inclination towards crafts and was always motivated by my parents and well wishers to do new things. Since my father had a jewelry and casting workshop I was always found there experimenting and making sculptures! 



 
2. Much of your work is based on the traditional Dhokra craft. What drew you towards Dhokra?


Dhokra happened by chance! It was a project that I did for the Chhattisgarh Government and when I started the project I wasn’t very sure myself if it was going to work! But I fell in love with the craft form and skills of the craftsmen. That is what drew me towards it. Then gradually I started to experiment with the craft form. I decided to design against the normal products and create a new range that made the world notice the art form with more respect. I wanted the art form to be more than just a decorative piece of work.
 

3. Are you experimenting with any other traditional craft?

Oh yes, of course. I am making products with the traditional crafts of Jaipur. You can see the products made with the traditional Naqqashi and Chetai crafts of Jaipur on my Zaarga Store itself. Few examples of the products are the Lily Leaf Platter, Banana Leaf Platter, etc.

 

Clockwise from top- Lily Bowl, Lily Platter, Fingerprint Coaster, Peepal Leaf Coaster and Banana Leaf Platter

4. What was the first product that you designed?

My first product was a sculpture that depicted a peanut that had been blown 5 times of its usual size. It was an art piece, a decorative form casted in Bronze metal with a oxidized finish. The product also won “The Innovative Application of Existing Material award”, by Living Etc in Association with RSA (Royal Society of Arts, London) 

5. What/Who would you say is your biggest inspiration?
Dona Bowl

Nature! It’s my biggest inspiration. The flora and Fauna around me inspires me to create my collections. I take notice of the small things around me, things that you would miss to notice.

6. Who is your Number One fan?


Wow! I have never thought about it. I would say for me all those who value and take notice of my work are my fans!

 7. What are the aspects of your work that you enjoy the most?

I think it has to be all the aspects. This may sound a little clichéd but truly it is. I love sitting with my sketching book to create concepts, I love sitting with a cup of chai with my craftsman when we discuss the concept. I like taking care of entire process that goes behind making the product. Also I enjoy being my own boss! Its fun to have your own design studio and work as and when you want.

8. What do you consider the biggest challenge you face today related to your work or design in general?

The biggest challenge today is making genuine crafts available to the people.

9. Is there any design of yours that you consider your best? Which one is it and why?

The best is yet to come! But the design close to me and I am very fond of it is the Peanut dry fruit bowl.


Peanut Dry fruit bowl
10. How often do you add new designs to your catalog?

I add few products every year but I don’t do season collections like my contemporaries. I design when I feel that there is a need for a new product. I design when I feel that all my previous designs have reached my audience and now they look forward for more! 

11. What is your vision for your work and design? Any exciting plans for the road ahead that you can share with us?
Dhokra Wine Holder

My vision is pretty simple- create timeless pieces that find their way into the lives of both contemporary and classical people around the globe.


 12. Can you share with us a dream project in your wish list?


My dream project is to create limited edition products that everyone desires and wants to own.

13. Your thoughts on Zaarga.

Zaarga is an amazing platform to share and connect with like-minded craft lovers. It has been an amazing support for Tejas Soni Design as well. I am proud to be associated with Zaarga and wish Zaarga and the team many more glorious years ahead. Cheers!
 


We wish Tejas great success and fulfillment in his creative journey. And we hope to showcase several more of his amazing products…

Cheers!!
Team Z

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