Spicing it up with pebbles

Unique hobbies

Spicing it up with pebbles

Creating unique art and craft items has always given G S Jayanthi an adrenaline rush. She loves exploring new themes and bases and her passion can be seen in interesting frames, designed with spices and pebbles. Pebble art and spice art, as she fondly calls them, occupy a special place in Jayanthi’s heart.

It was during her visit to a beach in the US when the idea of pebble art came to her mind. “I wasn’t thinking much when I was collecting the flat pebbles there. I just told my friend’s daughter and son-in-law that I wanted some of them and I had a grand collection,” says the costume designer.

Later on, when she returned to the city, she put some designs together. “Before I knew it, some beautiful creations came out of them.” These designs, right from the idea to the final frame, would take only 15 to 20 minutes to create, she says. “I grew up being able to picturise designs in stones and other bases. Thus, ideas come to me just like that. I have pursued art for a long while and I am happy to say that I am inspired on my own,” says Jayanthi.

It could be a piece of wood or a small string that could inspire her to create the designs. “Not always do I have the plan ready. I like to keep my mind open to new ideas. Most of the shapes I have made are human forms or even fishes,” she adds.  She saw some designs on Pinterest after she created her own and has been drawn to create more ever since. “I’m always looking for more pebbles to work with. I have used strings and small twigs to complete the designs, but the pebbles create the frames,” she says.

Spice art, on the other hand, is a more tedious and time-taking process, she says. “The world of spices is as mystical in appearance as it is in terms of aromas and flavours. They have beautiful textures and all of them create a different story each time,” she says.

Jayanthi adds that she experiments with spices like cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, small chillies, coriander leaves, curry leaves, anise seeds and mustard. “Each of them add to the detailing of the work. I add a spice according to the design that comes to my mind and develop it accordingly.”

Jayanthi works on her art only during the nights. “I do not like to be disturbed at all when I am working on these frames. When I am engaged in spice art, I place all the spices around the paperboard that I am going to work on,” she says. Just as in pebble art, these spices are stuck together to complete the frame. “But what is different here is that I take extra care to keep the spices moisture free. For this, I either leave them in some paperbooks or place them between tissue paper and iron them. I also iron spices like the nutmeg flower to bend it. The best part about working with these spices is that they are easily available and are dried, thus ready to use,” she says.

It was art with dried flowers and leaves that inspired Jayanthi to take up spice art. “I saw the possibilities with each of these spices and how they could be used to create nature-friendly designs. I especially like the star anise which has a nice and unique flower shape. These spices can inspire any artistic person to create wonderful designs,” she says with a smile.

“Often people are surprised as to how I make time in between my schedule for them, but the fact is that the artworks help me stay calm.” Jayanthi has been appreciated for her talents and often people have requested her to make these frames for them.
“Most people are baffled to see that these works are made of spices. A friend of mine who owns a restaurant has asked me to make a large frame for her and I am looking forward to creating it,” says Jayanthi.


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