Welcome to Kura Studio, where daily rituals are celebrated through beautiful and authentic objects, giving the owner pause to truly appreciate the moment.
Inseparable since high school and sharing a focus on fine arts, Serena Pangestu and Anika Kalotay continued their studies through Architecture and both graduated with an inclination to make.
“Having an art background from pre-Wacom days sparked our love for the hands-on, manual methods of designing,” says Serena. “In our degrees, we chose to draft and render by hand and made sketch models as our design iterations progressed.”
Translating these skills to what they are up to today, Serena and Anika experiment with materials at a closer proximity, which creates the unique conditions for their designs to occur.
Utilising materials that outlast its user, products span plates, bowls, dishes and utensils, as well as combs and even jewellery. Made by hand, each piece has a story to tell in its unique imperfections and characteristics.
Kura Studios’ current body of work consists of timbers and ceramics, representing two vast worlds in materiality.
“In its raw state, these materials carry a story about place and time, and provide for us the constraints comparable to what ‘site and context’ did for us in architecture,” says Anika. “Plus, they are both beautifully tactile and warm in their own ways.”
While understanding the difficulty in always being present in such a fast-paced world, Serena and Anika are dedicated to bringing mindfulness back into every day rituals in order to turn even the most subconscious actions into meaningful moments.
“Our favorite utensils are the ones we go back to and use over and over again. This could be because we love the way it sits in our hand or because we remember the funny story that happened when we bought it, so suddenly a moment in our day is a reflection,” says Anika.
It is a sentiment for which the business name directly correlates. “Kura” means tortoise in Indonesian, which is where Serena is from, and it has strong symbolic meaning in both Eastern and Western cultures.
“Memories of always being told: “we need to have a tortoise in the house”, as well as The Tortoise and the Hare fable, remind us that slow and steady is the way to go and that by being mindful to our surroundings, we will learn a multitude of invaluable things,” says Serena.
Practising what they preach, Serena and Anika’s own daily rituals revolve around their dose of sunshine, whether it be eating lunch while absorbing the heat from the brick driveway, or picking up their work to continue outside.
“Another daily ritual we’re trying to inspire is to take time in combing your hair and scalp every day,” says Serena. It is one that stems from Serena’s fond childhood memories of walking through the Kampung, where the traditional Indonesia women sit on stools and comb their hair.
“Combing has so many benefits, from massaging your nerve endings and stimulating blood flow to promoting hair growth, and it is such a simple and beautiful ritual to integrate into your day.”
When not literally getting their hands dirty, Serena and Anika continue to stay busy with their Caricatures of a House project.
Wanting to start a conversation about homes in an engaging way, the pair decided that a collaged illustrative representation was a great way to capture the soul and story of a home.
“Alongside the caricature, we have conversations with the residents about how they use their space and what they dream Perth’s housing landscape should be,” says Anika.
Serena and Anika are currently working towards an exhibition for Caricatures of a House project, and potentially a book. Stay tuned!