Home   |  Issues  |  The Daily Star Home | Volume 2, Issue 12, Tuesday September 14, 2004






Shop special

Clay Image: Ceramics with a difference

Although there are many shops in Dhaka City that sell household ceramics, not many of them can claim to sell products that are handmade, exquisite and unique. It is in this regard that Clay Image makes a difference, as it sells some of the finest handmade ceramics that are available in the market.

Clay Image is the result of an initiative by Kamal Ahmed Maruf and Rehana Akter Nayan, who are both students of Dhaka University's Institute of Fine Arts. They have set up Clay Image with the goal of preventing the extinction of handmade ceramics, and to illustrate how clay can be made both to carry value (,) and at the same time be used for everyday domestic work. In their own words, their main objective of this endeavour is: "To bring to life the almost extinct traditional art of pottery and present it with new shapes, dimensions and aesthetic appeal."

Recently, Clay Image held its first exhibition at Zainul Gallery. Over there they exhibited some of their best work. The items that were on display included: tea sets, mugs, jugs, glasses, ice cream cups, vases, bowls, dinner sets etc. All the work was carried out in a form known as "Stoneware". The exhibition proved to be immensely popular, as people from all walks of life visited Zainul Gallery and praised the two artistes for their creativity.

In case you missed the exhibition, you need not be disheartened as Clay Image will be opening a display centre on 15 September. There, you will be able to purchase decoration pieces, tiles, terracotta products and tableware. Just to give you an idea about their prices, a dinner set will cost you between Tk 7000 Tk 8000. Kamal Ahmed Maruf admitted that their prices are a bit expensive, but he mentioned that this is due to the fact that the products are handmade. He also added that in terms of durability and finishing, handmade products are just as good as industrial products, if not better.

Besides purchasing ready-made products from Clay Image, you can also place an order to them for making a specific kind of item for you. For instance, you can request them to make a dinner set. Since they have all kinds of equipment at their factory including a kiln, they can deliver an order in only 15-20 days. The advantage of this facility of theirs is that if you visit their display centre and like everything about an item, except that it has a matt finishing, you can place an order to them to make exactly the same item with a gloss finishing. Also, if you intend to present a friend or relative with say a dinner set, you can ask them to make it according to a design of your choice. By doing so, you will be able to ensure that nobody else presents exactly the same gift to your friend or relative. Now that is definitely something that you want, right?

So, there you have it. Ceramics connoisseurs will definitely view Clay Image as a godsend. If you are looking for ceramics that are handmade, exquisite, and unique, then definitely do visit their display centre. We assure you that you will be pleasantly surprised!

Address: Sunrise Plaza, Shop 22 (2nd floor), 3/1 Lalmatia, Block A, Dhaka

By Sayeed Mahmud Nizam

Shop talk

Reading Lamps
Want a reading lamp to be placed on your table? Reading lamps are wide available in the stores of Dhaka. Lamps of diverse colours and designs are displayed on the shelves of stores of New Market, Elephant Road, Metro Shopping Mall, Rifles Square and others. Most of these lamps come from China, Thailand and Taiwan and look pleasing indeed. A reading lamp, if placed on your desk, will change the very appearance of your study room. Besides, it's also good for your eyes to use a desk lamp while reading. The prices of these lamps will vary by size, quality of making, design and country of origin. The lowest price would be around tk.150 and might rise as high as tk.450.

Computer Tables
If you have a desktop PC at home or in the office, then it's required that you buy a good quality computer table to properly position your monitor, CPU, keyboard and mouse. In the D.C.C market located at Gulshan 1, there are numerous shops selling high quality and attractive computer tables. Some are quite large with adequate space to also let you place your printer, scanner and compact disks. There are also nice-looking study tables available at this market which you can purchase for your kids. The price of these tables usually starts around tk.5,500, but you can always bargain to push the price lower.

Plastic Mugs

Although the days of putting a bucket and a mug in your bathroom are kind of over, we still buy them for numerous other household purposes. You can use a plastic mug to water your house plants, to carry water from one part of the house to another, to pour water while you hand wash your clothes etc. Plastic mugs are widely available at New Market. You can even find them in your local bazaars and superstores. Available within tk.25 to tk.30, these plastic mugs prove to be very useful from time to time. Bangladeshi companies like Luna, Romance etc now manufacture quality plastic mugs for their local customers. And lastly, change bathroom mugs quite often as their colours and texture lose lustre if used for too long.

Pretty pendants
If you are an office-goer then you probably prefer light jewellery to complement your sari or salwar kameez. Heavy and funky ornaments are not suitable for wearing at the office. A simple gold chain if paired with a down-to-earth yet elegant pendant is often enough to highlight your neck. Lavender in Gulshan and Dhanmondi, has a wide collection of pendants waiting to adorn your neck. Beautified with stones of diverse colours, the minimum price of these gold and silver lockets would be tk.300. So, wear one to look smart and professional at your workplace.

Jute Bags
Jute bags look especially voguish if paired with jeans-fotua. For young girls out there, you too can carry one while you plan to hang around with your buddies or even at your college. At Jatra, jute bags of various sizes and designs are available to gratify your hip tastes. Check out the off-white ones decorated with little sea shells. So buy one and slip it around your shoulder to look trendy. Each of these bags will cost you tk.200.

Trendy tops
If you have recently visited Badruddoza market located opposite to Dhaka College, then your eyes must have caught the glimpses of those short trendy tops of varied shades, shapes and necklines. If you are planning for a vacation in the near future, then visit this market as soon as you can, because the shops run of out of stock quite fast. You will undoubtedly look stunning if you match one of these cool tops with your slacks or jeans. You can even wear these chic short tops with your skirts too. Prices are really low and you can even get away with a top for only tk.50. Since these tops are commonly made for customers residing in foreign countries, they bear the stamp of high quality textile, stitches and fabric colour.

By Wara Karim






Essentials Special

Driving in Dhaka city…
is one tough task. Traffic here moves in a very unruly manner. What is known as traffic jam around the world usually turns in to traffic chaos in Dhaka, which makes commuting in and around the city very aggravating for the dwellers. Drivers' courtesy is completely an unknown subject here. Lets find out how some simple manners and rules can make it a lot easier for everyone.

Lane courtesy
Bangladeshi drivers never understand or appreciate the importance of lane courtesy. Either they change lanes very frequently without any caution, cutting off other drivers, or they block others from changing lanes. If someone wants to pass, simply move over and let them by. A little courtesy will not cost you anything. If you need to change lanes, look at the mirrors first, check the adjacent lane, signal the vehicle you wish to pass, then change position balancing with the flow and speed limit of the traffic and without getting in another driver's way.

If you can…
anticipate the needs of the fellow travellers, traffic would move a lot more safely. For instance, if you open up space for the vehicles that are trying to merge into a busy street, the traffic would move on smoothly, but if you block the drivers from entering, then it will take longer for them to merge in, which means more vehicles queued behind wishing to move ahead.

When you are overtaking…
first look at the mirror for approaching vehicles. Check its speed if there are any. If it is not a one-way street, look for vehicles coming from the front. If there is enough space to move ahead, then overtake, but before you do, honk first to let know the vehicle you are overtaking. always overtake from the right side of the vehicle. You can overtake from the left side only when the vehicle in front gives a signal to turn right.

Refrain from overtaking…
if you are driving in a narrow road, if there is a U-turn, when you are close to the pavement, near a roundabout, when you are trying to merge in to a busy road, at the intersection of major streets, if there is a vehicle coming from the front, and if the speed limit of the vehicle behind exit yours.

Unwise parking
It is not very wise to park in the entryway of any building, near roundabouts and U-turns, in a narrow street, on a bridge, and at the intersection of roads. This unwise act, however, is a very common practice in Bangladesh.

For a safe journey
Keep all the necessary papers in the car. Before starting from home, check whether all the tools are in the boot. Examine the tyre, its bolts, brake, and brake oil. See whether there is enough lubricant. When you are starting, check whether there are any lights turned on in the dashboard. If there is any, turn off the engine and look for the cause. And finally, do not drive if you are tired. Accidents are part of life but it can be curtailed with these simple precautions.

By Shahnaz Parveen





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