On the occasion of International Women’s Day, and in keeping with this year’s theme #BalanceForBetter, DBWRF celebrates women achievers through a series of articles. In this blog, we highlight artpreneur Zainub Kachwala’s tryst with art and creativity.
They say life is short, art is immortal. When a person channelises creativity onto a canvas of any sort be it fabric, ceramic or paper, that creation continues to be seen and remembered for generations. This feeling becomes even stronger when you see Zainub Kachwala’s hand painted porcelain crockery and block printed garments.
For the past 20 years, Zainub’s work under her brand, Silver Touch, has been adorning the homes, wardrobes and even offices of those with a taste for the finer things in life. Her line of hand painted porcelain which includes dinnerware, mugs, cutlery, crockery have found a place of pride in many eclectic homes around the world. Bringing a unique dimension to corporate gifting, she has also created exclusive artware for Ranbaxy, Abbot and Deutsche Bank, among others. Her popularity grew to such an extent, that she eventually collaborated with Swarovski for a special gold-plated line.
Zainub’s romance with colour and art started as she watched her father etch portraits. “Unlike him, I can’t draw faces. But abstract forms and Nature is certainly my forte,” she says. Drawn towards the free-form, she graduated in textile designing from Govt. Polytechnic College Surat and also excelled a course in advanced block printing from NID, Ahmedabad. She also pursued a formal education in fine arts, thus empowering herself for both her chosen mediums.
Her penchant for intricate work is amply seen in the sarees and suits she creates. Designing every block with an eye for detail, she makes the patterns come alive with simple, but classic colour schemes. “We pick our colours keeping in mind the prevailing seasons and trends. Currently we are working with red and black, before this collection, we went the monochrome way and stuck to black and white,” she says.
Zainub attributes her husband Mansoor, sons Hussain and Murtuza, and daughter-in-law Fatema with being her spine. While her father was her first inspiration, it was her husband gifting her a kiln that got her on track to create hand painted porcelain, professionally. In fact, he looked after her paralytic mother who was dependent on the family for care, so that she was able to manage her travel schedule to her workshop in Jaipur. Being a successful chartered accountant, he also guided her to clinch corporate deals. “I would not have achieved so much if I didn’t have such a supportive family. My husband is truly my partner and helps me manage everything so well. We are a family, but also a team. With my daughter-in-law joining me, we have only become stronger as a unit,” she beams with pride.
At the age of 53, Zainub exuberates the energy and passion that would shame a millennial. Shuttling between her home in Mumbai and workshop in Jaipur, Zainub’s creative life is a tale of two cities. One is where her family thrives and the other is where her art prospers. For the last 20 years, she has been effectively balancing both worlds and believes this is only the beginning. She proves that when you are raring to go, age is just a number. She’s an inspiration to those who believe that women’s careers have a limited shelf life. Zainub has an insatiable fire raging in her, mirrored by her kiln, the embers of which will never stop glowing.
Follow her on Instagram: @silver_touch_online