The Fusion Projects – With Glasshopper

The first in the series of The Fusion Projects is with stained glass studio – Glasshopper. It’s been 6+ months in the making but the thought actually has been brewing in my mind for almost four years.


I have always wanted to see my work in the many possible ways it can be used – to take a concept across mediums and hopefully have it successful in all of them. I wanted to take my art and make it accessible to more people. To those who may not have space for a trunk or a kettle or even a large painting…

But the jewellery had to be different and yet be universally appealing. I could have worked with a regular silver/gold smith to make the pendants but then where is the fun in that? Enter Saarus Nirhali – my friend and a wonderful stained glass artist.

I had originally asked her to just encase my artwork into some pendants and I would buy those off her and then get down to my solitary work. Collaboration had been on my mind for sometime so it was serendipitous that she asked to collaborate. And things took of from there. I knew what the end pieces needed to look like. I just needed Saarus to see my vision. And she did.  Her reaction when she saw the first set of completed necklaces was something I can’t describe.  Her words -‘ I knew you would do something but this I had not expected! I did not know my work could look like this...’ 🙂
Saarus works with glass but on a much larger scale.  So to work on one square inch pieces meant she needed to rethink her entire approach to her own work! The challenge for her was to get a fineness in the edges and edge finish. She needed to see the potential. I have to say. Saarus was ready for the challenge. The pieces are truly wonderful even if I say so myself.

At ArtByAarohi I have always tried to push the envelope a little, to blend material and media. To add an element of up-cycling or recycling.  An element of surprise. This collection too has a little bit of that.

Gold and silver have an innate value irrespective of how good or bad a design maybe. These needed to be good designs! Since neither gold nor silver is being used. The design and finesse had to be something that worked for everyone. Or at least everyone with a certain sensibility. It has been months in the studio, doing, re-doing and refining pieces.  There have been instances where a finished necklace has been pulled apart and re-done because the loops on the pendant did not sit right. I am an extremely detail oriented person and would go back to the drawing board  when I wanted a piece to be a certain size or the loops a certain orientation. But I think we are now at a level of finish that I am happy with.  Our work will only get better from here.

The artwork in each piece is based on my original painting. The materials, their use and how the end piece would look has been my work. Saarus on the other hand has worked on encasing the artwork using true Tiffany style stained glass techniques.  Her studio has been busy working away at cutting/grinding and then soldering many tiny pieces of coloured glass to fit my vision. The  loops on each piece of glass has been a very time consuming and exacting process.

I have learnt so much through this collaboration. Not just about stained glass and it’s possibilities/limitations but about working with another individual. Patience was never my strong point but I have learnt it along the way. This collaboration has allowed so many wonderful iterations in the ideation process that I can truly say that alone this series of jewellery may not have packed the punch that it does.

Please do click here to read Saarus’s experience in the making of this collection.

To view this first collection do drop by at my Studio in Bangalore on the 27th and 28th of Aug 2016 at:

The ArtbyAarohi Studio
C-44 Diamond District Apartments,
Kodihalli, Old Airport Road,
Bangalore – 560008 KA

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The Fusion Projects


Collaboration is a working practice whereby individuals work together to a common purpose to achieve business benefit. Collaboration enables individuals to work together to achieve a defined and common business purpose. – (this was the first result for the definition in Google)

There are some ideas that need to be worked on from multiple angles. A multi-pronged approach as it were. They need skill-sets that one may not necessarily have in house or have but they may not yet have reached the level of refinement needed to bring that idea to fruition.

I usually work alone. I have worked with others only in a very limited capacity. Though I have always felt the need to bounce ideas of someone else. Supreet Singh – my husband, friend and in many ways my partner in work has always been that. And my dearest friend Meghna Vakada has been the one to be brutally honest with feedback when I needed to see the light.  She has been at the receiving end of many ideas that needed talking thru to just refine the idea to a point where I could run with it.

But it was time to let others into my circle. To push boundaries. So collaboration with others was a natural step in the progression of my work. Both for the work itself and for my own individual growth as an artist.

I am happy to say that this year I finally decided to take the plunge and collaborate with others in a more serious way.  Collaboration allows for ideas to reach that one step higher that would have been difficult on my own. I have always wanted to mix materials and genres but have often realized that I may not have a level of refinement yet in every area of skill and knowledge that is needed. Working with others allows accessing of ideas/thoughts/skill and knowledge across metaphorical borders. What would a graphic designer and a weaver create. Or an architect and artist/sculptor. A wielder and a silk screen artist. Maybe even a writer or lyricist with thread work… these are areas of art and collaboration that excite me and make me want to explore.

Yes, Collaboration is the process of two or more people or organizations working together to realize mutual goals. But it is more similar to, but more closely aligned than, cooperation, and both are an opposite of competition. Collaboration for me works because the parties involved respect each other and their work. Their goal is to put their best forward. It is a desire to get the best outcome of ones craft.

The first in the series of my endeavor will be out soon. Wait for it.

But till then..

The Fusion projects is an initiative for collaborative experiences with others across genres and mediums. If you think there is anything you and I could work on which would benefit from both our combined experiences/skill sets/ vision than write to me at

As has long been said ‘no one is an island’.

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The Denim re-done Collection July 2016

The first edition of the Denim collection was a sell out.  If I remember correctly there were about 14 bags at that time. Actually sell out is not technically true – one was left at the end. These too sold out in about 12 hours from the time they went live on the store much like the first edition of the Jhola Bags and the second. The second took a little longer. You can see them here and here and here.

With me and my penchant for wringing the last bit of use from a bit of fabric – old jeans are a no-brainer. There are many who make bags out of old jeans, but I would like to believe mine are a tad bit hat kedifferent. For starters they use prints from the signature Art by Aarohi collection. Which in essence means each piece of art has been hand painted by me at some point. These prints are appliquéd on the the denim and then further worked on and embroidered by me. So there truly is a little bit of me in each bag. Yah! I know sounds cliched but it is true.  This is actually the third or fourth edition. Like I mentioned in a previous post, much gets sold from the studio itself or at exhibitions that it never makes it to the store online.

This time along with Denim Jhola bags we also have Laptop bags to comfortably fit two sizes – 13″and 15″ – with a little room to spare post that! Oh! and a few satchels too…

I leave you with a two images from this next edition of the denim bags. And you – guessed it – They are live on the store at this time – Happy Shopping!



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The Jhola Bags Collection : July 2016

The first edition of the Jhola bags that came out last year in February was a sell out. I mean that literally. They all sold out in about 12 hours. Though in the interests of full disclosure, I must be honest and say there were only 12, but still 🙂 You can read about and see some of that collection.

This edition is different looking in terms of colour and the surface treatment but it still has the signature ArtByAarohi feel. Each bag has a print portion of original art which has been appliquéd and then the bag further worked on and embroidered by me.

There are 18 bags in this collection and each is one-of-a-kind and hand-crafted by me. It uses left over pieces of fabric from other tailoring and bag making projects and yes, just the like the last time – the inner lining between the actual outer and inner fabric is old curtains (washed and cleaned before use).

I do take the feedback you all give me quite seriously. So this time there is no faux leather. The straps/handles are made with woven cotton yarn and the tie ups on the side too are recycled yarn. The bag is a tad bit smaller though that in no way compromises the insane amount of volume that one can pack in!  And the interior pockets are bigger and deeper. It really is a joy to behold.

I leave you with a few images from the new collection and a link to the store.

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The kids are growing up and time is going faster then I can keep up. Some days it feels like I am running to stand still. I know I have been quiet here for a few months but I find most people are on Facebook or Instagram or some other social media site.  I do post there every so often but that too has been sporadic at best.

I found myself going through some earlier posts in a an effort to find a specific post a few days ago and realized I miss my blog. I used to try and post a little something at least once a month. And then life caught up with me. I found myself with not much to say. And then guilt came calling. I had been away from the blog for so long that I did not know where to start. So much to share and no words to share it with. I decided to just write from the heart and say Hello! 🙂

I am hoping to get back to writing here. And sharing again. I find that since I work mostly on my own, I produce far from staggering quantities and most of what I do usually sells from the studio itself. So I have been lax in putting things up on the shop as well.

I wonder if my fellow bloggers/artists/creators feel the same way – that while e-commerce is good and wonderful, the effort to update the shop – take pictures/manage inventory/answer queries/ the trips to the post office etc don’t really leave too much time to create!

There are a few things in the works right now and I will of course post about them here when done.

This was just to say Hello…
…hello from the other side…
(may as well leave you with the whole song !)

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Simply Bangalore – February 2016


I was pleasantly surprised when India Today asked to speak with me on sustainability and how I see that. A bit more so as you get a glimpse of my new home and I made the cover 🙂

I try and incorporate something old into most of my work. I hate wasting something that might still have life. But more important to me is to maintain connections with the past. For everything shapes us into who we are. That has to be honoured.

Thank you Khusboo Patodia for the lovely write up in the Feburary issue  India Today magazine – Simply Bangalore. It was wonderful talking to you.


Note- Please click on the image to read the text.


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Raisin and Rage

I do commissioned portraits from time to time. It is something I enjoy and dread. It is a lot of pressure but the outcome is so worth it. To see joy, love, recognition and memories in a person’s eyes when they see the finished piece is priceless.




Raine and Raisin

Ritu and Rahul lost their little one Raisin over a year ago and had asked me to do a portrait of her. So I did. And since I was on a roll of sorts. I did one of their daughter Raine holding Raisin as well. The second portrait was my gift to them. The thank you note they gave me had me in tears.

Sadly a few months ago they lost their second daughter Rage as well. Rage was Raisin’s mother. It was gut wrenching to paint this second portrait and I delayed it as long as I could. Somehow I hated that I was painting one more memory that would be just that… but now they have Rumour – a gigantic Great Dane and I intend to paint her while she is living flesh and blood! 🙂






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Femina – November 2015

Thank you Akhila Vijay kumar for the DIY feature in the October-November 2015 issue of Femina magazine.

Femina-Magazine-Cover  Femina-Magazine-Article

It is a simple DIY inspired from  this post. Diwali is about festivities. Lights, mithai and of course card games. These set of bowls would do well to multi task as fruit/ sweet bowls as well as bowls to keep money and poker chips. These bowls have been made with newspaper layers stuck together. The motifs are all inspired by cards and the outside surface is a depiction of various card plays. Actually the bowls are cheat sheets!


This DIY was done in record time – three days. And that long because each layer of paper had to dry. There are about 14 layers in these bowls. I added a lot more colour and graphic lines after these images were taken. Will post those too one of these days. I know I am late posting this but I was traveling during Diwali week and this sort of slipped between the cracks…


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One Word

How do you wrap up a day in just one word? One word to reflect what that particular day had been about. No prefix, suffix or explanations of any kind. Just the word. The one feeling or thought that could define how 24 hours shaped me as a person, guided my interactions with others or plain just kept me bound within my own mind.

Earlier this year I decided to end everyday for a period of 30 days with just one word at the end of the day. I wanted to see if I could narrow down on what the most important, overwhelming or in your face action, act or interaction had been for me on that given day.

I did it. Religiously. Everyday for 30 days. Much like this experiment which ended here.

Starting 4th April 2015 to 4th May 2015.
This is what I have –
4 – Hope
5 – Camaraderie
6 – Paying my dues
7 – Exhaustion
8 – Conversations
9 – Resignation
10 – Revelation
11 – Exasperation
12 –  Journey
13 – Pain – Hope
14 – Exasperation – jubilation
15 – Possibilities
16 – Hope
17 – Unsettled
18 – Insightful – Hope
19 – Clarity
20 – Sadness
21 – Sadness
22 – As good as it gets
23 – Overwhelmed
24 – Joy
25 – Joy
26 – Nostalgia
27- Acceptance
28 – Hope
29 – Love
30 – Perturbed
1 – Fatigue
2 – Connections
3 – Acceptance
4 – Beginnings

While writing that one word at the end of a given day I was able to pinpoint with acute clarity just which person or incident had taken up the most mind share on a given day. And in turn realize who or what is able to ‘push my buttons’ – who was I giving my power away to.

The word I wrote at the end of everyday was true, with out artifice and as representative of that day as I could think of.  I learnt something and it surprised me. Today a few months after that experiment has ended, I find that I can no longer remember why I wrote a particular word. What action or incident happened or did not for me to have used that word.

Which made me realize that I had been allowing people, places, things, action and even inaction to take on greater meaning on a given day. Something could ruin it for me or make me almost ecstatic. And in reality it had no meaning the next day! I needed to learn to live in the moment and then let that moment go. Just because something good happened I did not need to walk on a cloud for a week OR because something did not go as planned – I definitely did not need to stay in the dumps for longer than the few minutes it should take me to rationalize the situation in my mind.

Change is good. And I needed to learn to embrace it.  It is a work in progress though – much like life itself.

Why am I posting this now after so many months? It is because I needed the reminder. The words for the last few days would be brutal, broken and raw. And I need to remember that this too shall pass…


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ChammC with love

ChammC came into my life on a morning walk. Rakesh who is the founder of VoSD was walking his dogs one morning and I happened to meet him. He had a baby carrier of sorts slung around his torso and inside was ChammC. This absolute adorable bundle of joy. A Cocker Spaniel with eyes that would melt the hardest heart.

She was found in a dumpster by a good samaritan and handed over to Rakesh. When found she was in a terrible state with a gigantic hole near her bottom filled with maggots. Tiny and young, I think just 2-3 weeks old. No one thought she would make it. But Rakesh did. He hand reared her for the first three months and literally brought her back to life. And she became Helen and Rakesh’s little love. One amongst the many others that live with them but that is another story!

Sadly ChammC passed away while she was only about 7-8 months old. A routine operation to spay her resulted in complications which led to her passing away on the operating table.

12 July 2015 was one year to the day she left and since I could not get her back for them. I painted ChammC as a gift for both Helen and Rakesh. Three portraits from different grainy Facebook pictures that show her at various ages/stages in her young life.

As all high res images of ChammC were lost in an unfortunate computer crash. The Facebook images were the only ones to work from. I hope these ‘high res’ versions bring comfort to her parents…




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