Shopping: Sarah Kurien’s mosaic store, Tesserae, houses a range of intricate and colourful home and garden ornaments
The first thing that hits you when you enter is the riotous display of colour running amok on the floor, the shelves, the windows and even the ceilings. Rainbow-hued shards of glass wink enticingly at you from a bamboo holder and platter housing a miniature plant. A collection of liquor bottles have undergone a make-over of sorts — bits of ceramic coat the thick glass, hiding their labels while a serving tray embedded with stained glass in pastel shades looks simply too pretty to be used. Other signature pieces command my attention -- an ocean-inspired wall mirror in pristine aqua tones, a bistro table intricately worked with a tree of life motif, an amber and black chessboard with wooden pieces neatly arranged on it, a number of hooks in myriad shapes, jewel-hued lamps. A shelf overflows with a number of quirky garden ornaments- a frog shaped planter, a decorative mushroom, varicoloured tulsi pots.
Tesserae, named after the tiny bits that constitute the fascinating whole is one of the few stores that churn out mosaic work in India. Yet surprisingly its proprietor, Sarah Kurien is not a formally trained artist, “I am an electrical engineer,” she says. “But when I had my kids I found sticking to a 9 to 5 job rather hard,” she says. Having nurtured a life-long passion for the arts, Sarah decided to take up an online course in stained glass making six years ago. This branched off into an exploration of other art forms, including mosaic art and over time she became a self-taught mosaic artist. “Mosaic art is all about putting together tiny elements to make a large whole,” she says. “These bits are derived from ceramic and stained glass,” she adds pointing to the various pieces in her store.
She first started by working out of home and selling her products to large retail outlets under the brand Maya Mosaics. “I made some mirrors and took it to the bigger stores,” she says. “They took the whole lot. People have not seen this sort of stuff before, I guess,” she adds. As her business expanded, she realized the need to establish her own signature store. “You really can’t keep much stuff in three to four metres of space,” she laughs. Tesserae was launched in September 2012 which boasts of a variety of unusual home and garden décor items. All her products can be customised depending on taste and budget and are often based around a particular theme. One such is a mosaic based rendition of Vincent Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’.
“My client loved Van Gogh’s work and wanted a mural based on one of his paintings. I chose this one because it was the best one to translate into mosaic,” she says.
On future plans she mentions that she would like to take her products large scale by working with architects and interior designers. “I don’t want to limit myself to just houses,” she says. “I’d also love to expand into public spaces.”
Tesserae is located in Koramangala. Call 9740652337 for further enquiries.