Design Feature > Jenny Pinto
*An Indian By Design Exclusive*
Jenny’s work stems from the heart and her lamps seem to be lovingly nudged and caressed into form, the light brushing through and around it like wind. Featuring her work and thoughts.
Indian By Design: What made you give up film-making and move on to working with paper?
Jenny: I was making ad films and so it was a combination of a disillusionment with Indian advertising and becoming a mother. One looks at life differently, more critically when you feel responsible for the world your child will inherit.
Indian By Design: What is making paper the old fashioned way? Is it a dying art? Do you teach the art as well?
Jenny: Making paper in the old fashioned way is making it entirely by hand, dipping the mould into the vat, by hand and not with an automated or semi automated way that almost all handmadepaper factories in India do. Yes it is a dying art. In fact entirely by hand is all but dead. I don’t “teach” as much as keep an open studio to anyone who wants to learn. The technique itself is simple, it is the practice and what you do with it that makes the difference.
Indian By Design: What does being connected to the Earth mean to you? You seem to lead by example and live sustainably. Was it difficult to do so?
Jenny: Earth is balanced, generous, non judgemental and provides for everyone. She has solutions to absolutely every thing. As a species, we humans have lost touch with her. Connecting to the earth is understanding the natural process of life, knowing your place within it and trying to harmonise with earth and with each other. Sounds deep but it fact it is simplciity itself. Sustainability is a life-long journey, and I am still making it.
Indian By Design: Tell us a bit about the products – many of the lamps seem like products of sudden inspiration, individual in their form. Do you replicate your pieces or is each one unique?
Jenny: Most of my lamps start out as one of a kind but I have to adapt them to being replicable as no one really looks at lamps as art so no one is willing to pay for a one off light sculpture. I do keep a few as light sculptures and they don’t have many takers, just admirers. “Sudden inspiration” is probably quite true of the way I work most of the time. I find it tough to sit down at a table and design by the clock or calandar. That’s bad for business but then that’s how it is.
Indian By Design: Tell us about the work you do with NGOs and women empowerment.
Jenny: I beleive that every one is creative and all my NGO work has been based on that. I teach the groups the basic tech and start them off with a few designs and then allow them to devlop on that. Then I go back only when they need help. The project in Ahmedabad after the riots has been the most successful. It grew from nothing but a bunch of riot affected kids lead by an enthusiastic older kid called Sulekha, to a now being an NGO called ARZOOKIDS that is doing great wrok with paper and growing very fast.
Indian By Design: Who or what do you derive inspiration from?
Jenny: From the earth. she is an abundant source.
Jenny works out of Bangalore, India. You will find Jenny’s work and contact details on her website.
Filed under: Indian Craft, Indian Interiors, Indian Product Design | 12 Comments
Tags: Bangalore, Handmade Paper, Jenny Pinto, Julie Kagti, lamps