From Spices To Pebbles, This Senior Entrepreneur Finds Art Everywhere

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Creative senior entrepreneur GS Jayanthi dabbles in myriad art forms, creating innovative designs out of several everyday objects.

The next time you enter the kitchen, give your spice box a fresh new look. Did it ever occur to you that you could create some wonderful art with it? In fact, that’s exactly what senior entrepreneur and creative soul GS Jayanthi, 62, does. The multi-faceted Jayanthi has quite an imaginative array of artwork up her sleeve. From framed jewellery work, pebble art to kalamkari block printed T shirts and more, she does it all. Spice Art, where she creates designs out of regular spices found in every Indian kitchen, like cloves, nutmeg, star anise, cinnamon and even curry leaves, mustard, chillies and coriander, is probably the most unique one!

IMG_8368If other people see an explosion of taste in the myriad spices we use in our daily cooking, Jayanthi sees design patterns in them. Incidentally, her inspiration came from art with dried flowers and leaves. “I thought of adding something more to that and for colour started adding dry red chillies.”

Then came a brainwave. “Why not try creating designs only with spices,” Jayanthi says.

The process of creating spice art takes time and requires concentration. Jayanthi ensures the spices are kept moisture free. She dries the wet spices like curry leaves, coriander or rosemary. Once the design has been created, she does a coat of varnish on top to keep it well preserved and creates a double frame to give the final finishing touch. Like any true artist, Jayanthi doesn’t believe in repeating her designs. “Depends on my mood and what I want to do at that moment. Every design I do is different,” she adds.

Design and art have always been part of Jayanthi’s life. She has worked as a costume designer in Kannada films for several years, working alongside her filmmaker son, KM Chaitanya. She also runs a boutique from her home that stocks her unique products. The jewellery embroidery she does is rather unique as well, inspired by traditional South Indian temple jewellery designs. “I’ve been doing that for the last few years and these are very popular as wedding return gifts,” she adds. She has also started doing hand block printed T-shirts recently and designs the blocks herself.

Jewellery inspired embroidery

Jewellery inspired embroidery

A member of the handmade collective of artists, A Hundred Hands, Jayanthi has never trained as an artist. Her creativity across diverse art forms has been self taught, explored and experimented with entirely on her own, something she has in common with many creative people featured on Silver Talkies. In fact, her recent foray into pebble art came as a result of collecting pebbles on the beach during a visit overseas. Before long, she was seeing designs in them the way only a creative mind could!

A caregiver to her mother who’s 82, Jayanthi ensures she takes out time for her artwork and doesn’t plan to take a break from that anytime soon. “It helps me cope with everyday life,” says this enthusiastic creator, adding that she gets a lot of encouragement from her family for her work.

Art with pebbles

Art with pebbles

While spice art, pebble craft and jewellery inspired embroidery keep her busy these days, Jayanthi’s innovative mind is sure to add some more to that repertoire soon. She also does a lot of custom designs for clients if needed and you can check out her work on her Facebook page here
To know more about her work or organise a workshop with her, email us on

All photographs courtesy: GS Jayanthi

About Author

Reshmi Chakraborty

Reshmi is the co-founder of Silver Talkies. She loves books, travel and photography.