ATHA Inc. is a New York based company founded and directed by artist, Michelle Cherian.
The idea for Atha was born when I traveled from where I was living in Mysore, India to Kathmandu, Nepal for an artist residency at the Patan Museum in Patan Durbar Square, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I am a painter and was curious to work in a new environment.
I lived only three blocks from the museum, but instead of going straight there each morning I’d take walks wandering through the tangle of narrow alleys bursting with morning activity: the puja bells, the tink’ tink’ tink’ of the metal workers hammering brass statues of gods, and the pashmina shops opening for business. Finally making my way to the square, I’d step through the huge brass doors of the museum into a gorgeous courtyard and head to the studio.
Patan is one of the centers of artisanal work in Nepal. I slowly began to play with the idea of exploring a new medium, but still making something that came from the paintings. After visiting many of the silver shops, I started to make ideas for jewelry by cutting and gluing paper together. A couple weeks later my neighbor upstairs passed me the number of the owner at highly acclaimed artisan workshop. I called him and a few days later we met. He tells me of his father and grandfather being painters and sculptors, and of his uncle who was a commissioned artist for the king of Nepal. He liked the paper prototypes and agreed to take on my project. This is how the Atha signature bracelet, Subterranean Swing, was born.
When artistic vision is paired with highly skilled craft and that relationship is nurtured through trust and open communication the results can be spectacular. All of our partners are rooted in traditional practices, but love experimentation and have an eye for the unique.
By living and working in diverse places around the world Atha has cultivated a unique global perspective that informs the choices we make. As citizens of the world, the idea of home is anything but singular. We strive to add value to the lives of people we work with through only engaging vendors with ethical work practices. We are committed to creating pieces of beauty and wonder that provide a rich experience for both the maker and owner. We take pride in the authenticity of our materials, the skilled artisans we work with, and our distinct point of view.