Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 1, Issue 13, Tuesday August 26, 2003






Shop special

Beyond the 'Vertical' limit

Shahnaz Parveen

Those of you, who have a tilt towards terracotta artefacts, take a tour beyond the 'vertical' limit. Vertical Studio Ceramics is the creation of three ex-students of the Fine Arts institute, University of Dhaka. The trio comprise of Masudur Rahman, Azharul Islam, and Nurul Amin.

Vertical is a small store where you get to buy exquisite terracotta wall hangings or rather 'portable terracotta artefacts' as the trio would like to call it. The business of terracotta showpiece has been growing for quite some time now. Different NGOs have a clear interest in this trend. The revival of terracotta work is quite visible nowadays. However, most of the items sold in different outlets are always circling around the same themes and designs.

Vertical on the other hand has succeeded to bring about a notable diversity in their work. Marvellous decorative items like mirrors with terracotta frames, mask, clay pot, and flower vase can change the look of your household. One of the major goals of the group was to present exclusive gift items within a price range that consumers can afford. Mirrors are sold at the price of Tk300 to Tk400, masks cost Tk200 to Tk300 and to buy clay pots and flower vases you will have to spend Tk50 to Tk200.

The face of a king or queen, an owl, horses and elephants serve as conventional motifs. With a blend of traditional and modern themes, designers of Vertical tried to give a new dimension to the age-old heritage of Bangla. Most of the work is a composition of several pieces attached to each other with strings. Designers of Vertical claim that this is something very new in terracotta work. "As we see in Kantoji Mondir, all the terracotta plaques are attached permanently with the walls. What we tried to do is make the work portable", said Azharul Islam one of the designers of Vertical.

Their work also possess a multicolour presentation while very few colours are used by others who design terracotta artefacts. "Before burning, we use a coating of 'Ceramic Oxide' colour on the piece of work. The colour becomes permanent after burning it in the furnace", explains Masudur Rahman.

The trio started in 1996 and finally opened 'Vertical Studio Ceramics' in 2002. Since then, all the hard work made it possible for Vertical to export their products abroad. Their products are also available in Aarong, Midas Mini Mart, Aftab Karu Pannya, Banglar mela, and in K Craft. In their private studio in Lalbag, with the help of 30 additional workers, they try to maintain a limited quantity of production to maintain the persistency in quality. This way they can present their customers with a quality work in a lesser price.

To visit their outlet and get a hold of the remarkable works you will have to go to 68, Aziz Co-operative Super Market (ground floor), Shahbag.

Shop talk

Maggie mini soup packets
Do you ever feel the need to grab a quick bite, and can't muster up the energy to cook? Stock up on Maggie Mini Soup packets. Just pour the contents of the pack into a cup of boiling water, and viola! You've got yourself an instant meal that's not only delicious, but also filling and wholesome to boot. These are available in sets of 6 mini sachets for Tk 30 at any supermarket.

Powerpuff comics
Bubbles, Blossom, and Buttercup…if you have a little kid at home, these three names should be part of your daily vocabulary. A colourful comic book, filled with the adventures of these teeny superheroes would be the perfect way to brighten up any child's day. Head on to New Market, where they are available at the 1st gate for Tk 30…sure fire way to score brownie points with your special little girl or boy.

Trinkets from Nepal
While you're in New Market, head towards the open-air jewellery stalls (beside the optic stores), and you will definitely be dazzled by the display of Nepali trinkets. Wristbands and other ornaments made from colorful stones, they make the perfect accessory for any kind of casual wear. Prices range from Tk 100-150, depending on your bargaining skills.

Saris at Piraan
Located in Dhanmondi, opposite the Women's Sports Complex, is a nice little store called Piraan, which should be your destination, if you're looking for trendy, exclusive saris. They offer a variety of designs, including embroidery, block-print, sequin-work, and dollars. The starting price is Tk 650.

Fatuas with flair
I'm sure we've already said a lot about fusion-wear being all the rage this year. You don't want to be left out of this craze…so, just get yourself to Jatra, at Kemal Ataturk road, and feast your eyes on the fabulous collection of fatuas they have. From tie-dyed ones to sheer ones, in a kaleidoscope of colors, there's something for everyone. Priced between Tk 200-450, they're the perfect way to spice up your wardrobe.

While you're there…
Another way to literally bring some light into your life, is to get hold of a Jatra lamp. The shades are made from handmade paper, with leaves embedded in them, for a real 'back to nature' kind of look. Priced at around Tk 350 onwards, it's an affordable way to brighten up your personal space.

Funky earrings
The Devdas craze has spawned a whole new genre of 'antique finish' jewelry that's creating waves this season. Particularly in demand are the big earrings that are a cross between hoops and jhumkas, made of oxidized metal. You can find them, starting at Tk 40, at Almas Superstore, at the Gulshan-1 Circle.

By Sabrina F. Ahmad




Save electricity
We face load-shedding every single day. Unlike the US citizens, we have become totally used to it. It's become an accepted part of our lives, so we do not feel any stress wasting our resources. We often keep lights and fans on, even when we do not need them. Most of us think just a fan or light would not waste the electricity that much but we are wrong. Every unit of electricity counts. It would always be wise not to waste the power that we need so badly everyday to lead our lives.

When will it be over?
Ask anyone whether they remember when the construction of flyovers in Mohakhali and Malibagh started. The answer would most likely be negative. It seems that the digging, banging and hammering started ages ago. The construction of these two flyovers has been disrupting the normal traffic in those areas for a very long time. Dwellers of Dhaka are wondering when the flyovers will actually be completed.

Toll collection by police
The government recently decided not to lease bus terminals any more and declared a ban on toll collection by Paribahan Shamity. The decision was even announced in the terminals on loudspeakers. Different newspapers reported that things have started to ease a little but what remains a matter of concern is the toll collection by police. Who will stop law enforcers from breaking the law?

No special treatment
for MP's brother

Should the Home Ministry order for withdrawal of murder cases against the brother of the ruling party lawmaker Nasiruddin Ahmed Pintu? It is a manipulation of power. It brings questions to our minds as to why this special treatment for an accused murderer is needed? Who ever the accused might be, he or she should get the same treatment as all the citizens of this country.

Fastening seatbelts
The Dhaka Metropolitan Police recently asked all drivers and front seat passengers to fasten their seatbelts. This safety measure is for the people travelling by car, we believe. However, what about the safety of the ones who rely on 'local buses'? How do they propose to bring about safety for these people?

By Shahnaz Parveen



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