Festive 2016 collection

Sayuri has been known for its thematic well planned seasonal collections but it always wasn't the case. When I started Sayuri in 2008, I wasn't trying to cater to a particular audience who like thematic pieces, I was attempting to strike a chord with every woman who wanted something unique and special, something that she would not find anywhere.  So I made ranges of jewelry - pieces to fit every style, every color and every price point. Eight years later, life has come a full circle for me and here is a Festive collection that is literally a collection of random thoughts, concepts, and designs.
Presenting pieces from the Festive 2016 collection that are in shades or blue and pink. I'll post the remaining designs in a following post. 

Festive 2016 collection 
Unique, handmade colorful beaded necklaces with a variety of interesting mixed media pendants.

Vibrant Lotus Necklace - A long statement necklace with a Lotus paper and resin pendant and multicolored beads

Luminescent sea - Inspired by the frothy sea waters and floating algae the beaded necklace of glass and howlite beads come with a shimmery mixed media pendant.

Beach sparkle necklace - Silk cord necklace with glass beads and a silver foil - paper pendant set in resin
At Indian beaches you can see a rare sight - of women dressed up in silks, flowers and in their finest jewels (particularly during festivals) as opposed to being in quick drying beachwear as in other countries. My necklace though made in traditional blues and greens of the beach theme have elements like silk cord, rhinestones and metal foil to as an ode to this interesting fashion adaptation that is based on a social agenda of looking your best when you go out with your family.

Colors pops - Looped beaded necklace in bright colors with brass links.  Picture a Saturday evening at the beach during sunset - its cool, a bit crowded and completely colorful with an energetic vibe. Colorful umbrellas, balloons, cotton candy stalls, and kites dot the beach completely replacing the brown and blue color spectrum with lots of vibrant colors. 

Reflections - Dew DropIcy blue crystal necklace with a Silver foil pendant that has a matt blue patina on it. For added interest I have used silver foil glass beads and silver crystals along with purple glass beads and a double sided purple and green matt crystal bead. The necklace has a lot of intrinsic shine but without that blingly over the top rhinestone type of shine.

So how do you like these pieces? yes, some of them were made for various challenges (ABS, BNB - "The day at the beach", etc,.)  and with certain tweaks, I thought that they would all fit in.
They are all available for sale, please email me to buy

I hope you find it interesting

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Metal Cloud Earrings

I have a confession to make - "I am crazy about clouds and I love taking pictures of the sky!" If I could photograph anything I wanted to, I would probably photograph clouds. For me there is no "ordinary" cloud - every cloud is special and beautiful in its own way. I have pissed off many with this compulsion  of mine, to stop, admire, and photograph clouds even when I am in the middle of something important. From dates to functions, from roadtrips to photoshoots - none have been spared. So to hear Keith Christiansen, a curator at the MET museum speak about his attachment for clouds was very satisfying.
Photographs taken at New York City, Udaipur and Chennai
At one point he explains why he takes pictures of clouds and the sky - "it is not a record of a place that I have been too but rather an emotion that I felt standing there and looking at it." I do not think that I can summarise my feelings for the sky and clouds any better than how Keith feels.
Many, Many artists have taken inspiration from clouds, from Sunrise and sunset skies to fuel their imagination. Next only to flowers, I consider the ever changing nature of clouds as the universal definition of strong inspirational direction.
 This Month's we're all ears challenge is all about Weather -  wind patterns, clouds and rain and as inspiration Erin had provided us with Van Gogh's Wheat Field with Cypresses that I had posted in the September ABS challenge here

I had great plans for all sorts of earrings when I started writing this post a week back and was then struck down by 102 deg fever. But I have made 2 pairs at the last moment. One is a direct realisation of cloud earring showcasing deep dark booming clouds and the other is a more stylised version of cloud movement in the evening just before the golden hour. The long stud meant to be worn as evening or party wear. Both are studs and are made of brass - brass flower stamping blanks (cut into the cloud shape) and brass wire. I have used my new texture hammer from Parawire to add interest to both pieces. I somehow like the texture on the wire better, what do you guys think?

I have blinged up both earrings with swarovski crystals and lots of pearls. I also like how the loreals  in the first earrings move a lot without making much sound, an attribute I prefer in my earrings. On hindsight, I think I should have not wrapped such heavy pearls to the earrings. As it quite long and tilts to the side (as per the design) it feels even more heavy. But it would be nice to wear it on an evening out and be the cynosure of all eyes. That's it for this reveal folks and as I close I am going to leave you with more cloud pictures I took in the last few years all over the world. 
Photographs taken at Chennai, Kathmandu, New Jersey, and Philadephia

I just realised that even though my inspiration pictures are colorful, vibrant with a happy vibe my designs are dull and melancholic, maybe reflecting my current state of mind and body. Maybe looking at all the beady baubles that the other participants made would cheer me up so I am off to visit the challenge reveal page. Why don't you all join me ?

I hope you found it interesting
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Beadfest Summer 2016 part II

Whenever I show the pieces that I made at Beadfest to my relatives, they ask with wonderment - "How did you make so much in four days?" My answer was and is that after years of instructing students to concentrate in class,  I took my own advice and applied it to the workshops. Still, I too was amazed to see how much one can accomplish with hard work. But it wouldn't have been possible if I didn't have wonderful and generous instructors. I spoke about Jean Breaderoe and Marti Brown in the part one of the Beadfest post. In this post, I would like to share my experiences of the other two workshops that I attended with Richard Salley and Lisel Crowley.

Day 3:  Stacking Stones
When I was selecting workshops to attend, I was very particularly that I learn at least 4 different skills. I chose metal as my common link and wanted to pick one metal clay, one coloring or patina, one bezel setting and  an another class for some extra soldering input. I kept changing the classes to fit into the available time, skill level and their affordability. But, however, I chose I kept coming back to the stacking stones class by Richard Salley. His pieces looked so chunky and store bought (meaning so well made that it could be casted using a machine mould) I backed off thinking that I don't have enough soldering experience to do justice to it and then he wanted us to bring tools. How was I going to carry saw blades and hammers on an international flight? Finally, I summoned up some courage and wrote to him. He was very sweet and offered to teach me if I was interested. Ofcourse, I was interested! He stayed true to his word at the workshop and taught me very patiently, calling me "Little girl" all the while :)
In a few hours, I learned how to size a cab, drill a hole in an agate cab (it was super hard!!), make a bezel, saw the backplate, make silver balls, rivets stones, set a stone, and solder a ring base to the bezel. I did that all at one shot for the first time. My very first bezel was a perfect fit for the stone OMG!! Though I melted one of the silver beads during the final solder and had a normal redo with the riveting (flaring)  the turquoise stone setting to agate, the ring turned out to be pretty decent. 


I was super thrilled that I bought more silver from him to try and set a chunky lapis lazuli cab that I had bought in Mt.Abu in 2012. Then disaster struck at every stage, I melted the bezel wire, burnt away silver beads and my base plate became shapeless. How much ever I tried I couldn't fix it, even after Richard taught me how. By this time, even those participants who were trying complicated cutouts for their first piece had finished them and left. But Richard was extremely patient, and he fixed the bezel for me and showed me how to smooth a setting over a large stone. The "D" is slightly tilted and the texturing has flared out the metal in a couple of places but overall I am happy with it. So I patina-ed and sealed it after coming home but I am yet to string it. 

Day Four - Romancing the Stone 
On the final day I took up he Precious metal clay class with the PMC queen Lisel Crowley. I am not a clay person to begin with, so I took up this class to challenge myself knowing fully well that I will not be working with PMC anytime in the near future as its very expensive and I don't have a kiln to fire my pieces in. As expected I didn't enjoy this class much. My clay was extremely dry and it had to be reconditioned many times and I had to redo my bezel over 5 times as it kept cracking. Also the stone that I initially picked turned out to be too big for the amount of clay that we were given so I had to change my design as well. But somehow I figured things out and made one Art Nouveau style vine pendant and another mini charm using a cubic zirconia stone that I had with me and scraps of leftover clay.
I did learn a lot about what not to do with clay in this class - like, if you want a textured impression at the back plate then you must be careful during the final cleanup before firing and you must not sand after dehydrating but after firing. I also found that cold hands like mine are actually an advantage when working with PMC.

I brushed it clean, patinaed and sealed this piece after I came back but I am yet to string it or wear it. I like the fact that it is quite heavy and looks like an antique heirloom (probably worn by some medieval princess)

I cannot conclude writing about my beadfest experiences without mentioning all the wonderful people I met there. Everyone was so friendly and even extra nice when they found out that I had come all the way from India.I had a fan girl moment when I clicked a selfie with the Susan Lenart Kazmer  of Ice Resin and Justin Russo of Ranger inks. I cannot forget the ever helpful and ever Ellie who manned Beadfest's FB page and answered all my queries patiently. On the second day after the niobium I met Lori Schneider and Robin Showstack who stayed with me as roommates for the rest of the fest. It was so much fun being with them - listening to their stories, learning from their experiences and at night showing off each others haul of the day. I have never stayed with or even spent a lot of time with people (in person of course, nah, Social media doesn't count!) who share my love for all things jewelry in a very long time. Thank you guys for making my beadfest trip very enjoyable and memorable.
If I ever get an opportunity to attend beadfest or a similar event with beads and jewelry I would definitely be there. It the meanwhile I need to work on my completely diminished physical health and slightly shaky financial health and get back to normal boring life.
I hope you found it interesting
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Beadfest Summer 2016 - a retrospection

Beadfest Fall is almost upon us (from October 13-16th 2016) at Tacoma but I realise that I am yet to write about my experiences at Beadfest Summer 2016. The last month has been pretty exacting - I have been extremely sick yet was working full time. I was the organiser of a 2 week long event with competitions and ceremonies at work and then came the navaratri display. But slowly I am getting a handle on things so without much ado here are the highlights of my beadfest workshop experience - well in two quick successive posts.  Beadfest Summer 2016 happened at Oaks, Pennsylvania, near Philadelphia. From King of Prussia (where I stayed at) I had to go through the valley Forge park to get to Audoban and Oaks. The first morning I was pretty scared, for the route looked like a hill station roa d- completely green and devoid of houses or stores for a few miles but then slowly I began to enjoy it for it is impossible to find such beautiful trails in Chennai. So coming back to the workshops - I had such fantastic learning and so many experiences in four days that I cannot do it justice by by cramming it all into one post. Hence in this post I am going to only talk about the first two workshops. Find the part two of this post here 
Crackle Enamel necklace by sayuri

Day 1:  Celestial Fusion
I couldn't have asked for a better class to start my beadfest experience or a better teacher than Jean Van Brederode of Charmed I'm Sure Studio.  Jean was very sweet and patient and her work with both Crackle Enamel and stamped solder was fantastic and very inspiring. Including me there were only five of us in the class so we got to learn and experiment a lot. At first, we learnt was to create the back piece for prong setting - cutting the plate and wire, making the bail and soldering them together using sheet solder which was all very new for me.

Then we domed another disc and enamelled it in layers. I was working with full dedication at great speed (inspite of cutting my thumb in the first 10 minutes) until I spilled a load of enamel powder on my disc and panicked. Jean calmed me down and helped me streamline it. I did a couple of firing adding colors each time that I had a fabulous piece in the end that I set and wore it immediately. I then made another piece to practice - this time using black crackle enamel.

 Crackle Enamel necklace by sayuri
Some instructors do not like to part with extra supplies but Jean encouraged us to make as many pieces as we wanted in the 7-hour class which was so refreshing. I made three extra discs and 2 sets of earring charms. I also tried counter enamelling. In the Beadfest site this class was referred to as "Kiln enamelling" which troubled me as I wanted to learn torch enamelling (something that I could do at home) but it turned out to be torch enamelling only. Jean had brought a kiln but we never used it. 
black Crackle Enamel by sayuri
Using black Crackle Enamel

The back of the disks with flame patina

counter enamelled charms
counter enamelled charms

Day 2:  Rainforest leaves
Ever since I chanced upon Anodised Niobium jewelry in the newsletters of beading daily I have been fascinated with the technique. So on 19th August after a relaxing lazy day at the hotel, I spent an hour exploring the beadfest stalls and then I took a class with Marti Brown of The Dragon's Odyssey. She is yet another fabulous lady and she has been making niobium jewelry for around 20 years. This was a news to me as I thought that this was a new - modern technique.
Unlike Celestial fusion, this was just a 3 hour class but one that I thoroughly enjoyed. For a science (and esp physics) nerd like me, the thought of actually applying physics to make jewelry was quite interesting. Niobium was very hard to cut and texture (as it could not be annealed)  but the coloring part was so much fun. Marti gave us a color sheet with written voltages and I specifically went beyond the limit to see what would happen - I got the pink of the boxed up earrings. It was also fascinating to learn that it was not possible to obtain "red" color in this method.
The 5 of us who attended the class left wondering why annodised niobium is not a very popular jewelry choice for the technique produced such beautiful effects. It could because of the unavailability of the material or the cost (niobium is expensive and hard to find in many places and so are the mini annodising machines) or it could be that rainbow effects or multicolored pieces are not preferred by the masses who would rather have something "matching " their clothes.

  You would seen the New york earrings in my post for the earrings everyday challenge here - one day in new york city. Here is a picture of the components  that I had used.
In all the four workshops that I attended, I was the only one who had never taken a class from a master jewelry artist or an expert jewelry professional before. Most people were already practising that type of jewelry and had come to learn the same technique from a different instructor for more depth or for a different perceptive, which was very surprising to me. My design degree was the only reason that I was able to match them, inspite of being completely self taught when it comes to jewelry. I was and I am still in awe of the American culture of wanting to "learn to become the best" and their passion for a craft which is so different from the east's perception of the west.

PS: If you ever get a chance to take a class with Jean, do not miss the opportunity, she is a great teacher (she taught above and beyond what was promised in the course outline) and it was the best class that I took at beadfest. Marti was pretty fantastic as well but maybe as enamelling is more doable for me in terms of materials and techniques ( I am yet to find a mini annodiser supplier in India)  I liked that class more. 

* Update -   Hey guys, so many of you have asked me about Enamelling classes. I need to practise it a lot before I can teach it. In the meanwhile Craftsy has a fantastic class on Torch enamelling by Barbara Lewis which is incidentally on sale now. You would want to stop everything that you are doing and dive right into enamelling when you watch the video, so don't miss it !!

I hope you found it interesting

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Metropolitan museum of Art New York

In my last post on "One day in New York City" I wrote about my visit to the MET - the mother of all museums and a temple of art.  The one on Fifth avenue that I visited, is over 2 million sqft in area and has over 5000 years of art. Before my visit, I had planned on seeing the Greek exhibit, Some renaissance paintings, Impressionist wing and the Manus Machina exhibit as I thought only that was possible in the four hours that I had there. But as soon as I stepped inside I became greedy, (yes, this was the FOMO that I was talking about in my previous posts) and wanted to see more. I ended up seeing both the Greek and Roman wings, the Polynesian,  Americas, and a part of the Arts of Africa  wing, Modern art - realism, Impressionism, a little bit of post-modern art, a portion of the Old masters section, the Manus Machina exhibit, a section of the Byzantine gallery, and the Egyptian section with the mummies and the temple. To streamline the visit, I looked only at Jewelry and accessory exhibits in the Roman, Americas, and Egyptian wing.
Here are pictures of a few favourites. You can find the pictures from the impressionist wing in my post on Expression of impressions.  I apologise in advance for the dull and sometimes unsharp pictures; a lot of the exhibits had dim lighting and flash photography was not permitted.

Metropolitan museum of Art New York

Greek and Roman
These were the first two galleries that I saw and they far surpassed my expectations. Even after seeing the entire gallery I couldn't believe the amazing craftsmanship of the jewelry that was displayed. I have studied Greek art and taught Greek ideals and costumes for a while now but truth be told I never expected them to be so well made with intricate work and luscious stones. The Intaglio rings and Signet rings of the emperors and officers in garnet and coral were fascinating.

greek jewelry

Of all the jewelry that  I saw, I was most fascinated by this Greek Hair bun ornament. I have seen variations of this ( Kondai valai - Hair burn fillet) being worn in India, but I never expected to see a Greek version of it, that too it gold. The round focal is reminiscent of the traditional Indian "Naga choodamani" where a snake is the focal instead of a woman's face. Could this have been a probable Indo-Greek Design collaboration?

greek hair ornament

Polynesia and  Americas
This was the wing I didn't even plan to see - I thin I might not find anything more than some totems or masks here. Boy, I was wrong. This was the wing that I spent the most time in and enjoyed the most. I was like watching all the 'Treasure hunt" movies at once and being transported to an era that was mythical, rich and full of glory.
wooden mask totem
The jewelry was from various places like Panama, Costa Rica, and Columbia and warranties its own post so I'll offer only a glimpse here. The elaborate nose rings, plain pectoral ornaments, burial masks and pendants were beyond amazing. Could the head beads have been worn by Head hunters of the period?

columbian gold jewelry

mayan burial mask
Burial Masks

Industrial Revolution
The Romanticism era paintings by artists  like Johan Christian Dahl and the large industrial revolution inspired paintings of speed, technology, rural Vs urban life were very interesting to see. As expected it charged me with emotion, passion, and mystic contemplation.

christan dahl eruptioin of mt.vesuvius 
dahl countrylife painting

Modern Art
How can I write a post about the Met and not include the precious Water lilies? In true impressionist ideology, Monet recorded the play of light and time at the same place on the same object (the lily pond) over and over again. As this was the time when photography was introduced, Monet wanted to produce paintings that like photographs depended on the light.  This is one of four pictures of water lilies (out of the series of over 250 paintings) that Claude Monet finished, signed, and sold.

water lillies

Prelude to a Civilization by Victor Brauner was another painting that really attracted me.  The figures were almost as primitive as Warli (of India) but with  bright colors and a background texture.

Prelude to a Civilization by Victor Brauner
 I am a big used of surrealistic concepts in my work, so I used this opportunity to see one of Dali's famous surrealistic paintings - Christ of Saint John of the Cross, up close and personal.

Christ of Saint John of the Cross surrealism, dali
Even those you who very little about western art would have heard of Pablo Picasso and cubism. Here is a Self-portrait of Picasso. I tried to take a selfie staring into the camera like he does in the portrait but it came out looking very scary and I had to crop me out of it. :D


Having read that the Docents and guards at the MET are very helpful I asked them if there were any work of art by Da Vinci, Michelangelo or Raphael in the museum. I was told that there was one Altar piece painting - Madonna and Child Enthroned with Saints in gallery 609. So I ran through the European paintings section looking for it.  I would have almost missed it if not for the group of tourists gathered in a circle (before the painting in an otherwise empty hall). 
raphael, madonnaruff, collar

A few of the pictures in the hall made me stop, whip out my camera and take pictures. Why? The subjects of  those paintings wore ruffs, whisk collars, engageantes of lace - items of clothing that I teach about in Costume appreciation. There was Marie Antoinette in La Levite, in Robe De Anglaise and men in breeches and surcoats. It was a pity that I couldn't stay there was long and admire the garments. In my hurry, I forgot to even note who the artists of these paintings were.

spanish jewelry
Here are some pieces from the Spanish Hall, a charming corridor that  made me stop in my tracks as I was running down to see Raphael. I was spellbound by the beauty of these jewels.
To add to my collection of Chainmail and armour photographs, I clicked one of this parade of statues (German Man and horse armour by Kunz Lochner) and stood there to admire them for  awhile

A section of the wall murals of Thomas Hart Benton - America Today  is the symbol of regionalism  the 1930s artistic movement that celebrated rural life in the United States
Thomas Hart Benton - America Today 
I was trying to find my way out of one of the gallery when I missed a turn and landed up in a niche which had a small display of products. I almost left, but then, I thought I saw something familiar - Siphon bottles by Norman Bel Geddes. I screamed a muffled yippee and spent 10 minutes with designs of my most favourite product designers of all time - Norman Bel Geddes, Raymond Loewy, Wolfgang Hoffmann and Henry Dreyfuss. I muttered a silent "thank you" to my design history teacher Deepa Kamath Ma'am who had opened my eyes to the world of art and design way back in 2004.

industrial design, raymond loewy
I have tens of pictures left and tons of memories that I can recount, but considering that I have been trying to write this post for the past 2 weeks, I am going to stop here and let it go. If I ever get a chance to visit New York once again I would really love to spend at least 2-3 full days at the Met Museum and take in the essence of art without running like a madwoman and taking pictures.

Travel Tips:
1. Avoid carrying backpacks, however, small they might be; You'll be asked to wear them in the front, which is inconvenient
2. If you want to click pictures of famous paintings in crowded halls, try taking selfies. The crowd will leave you alone and you get to be in frame along with your favourite painting
3. The museum is open on all days; but only till 5:30 PM in the evenings and galleries are cleared around 5:15-  5:20 pm. If you want to see more than 2-3 sections properly, reach early - around 10:30 AM so that you don't have to run like me
4.  You can enter by pay $5-$10 as entry fees so spend money in the museum shops to support art as much as you can. Alternatively, make a larger donation.
5. It is a huge place, so little children and elders might find it very tiring. The best way to the museum is by yourself or with a friend who knows art history. Guided empty met tours are also available.
6. Cell phone cameras seem to capture pieces in glass cases better than DSLR cameras and vice versa for the canvas paintings; so carry both if you want to take lots of clear pictures.
7. Around closing, only the restrooms near the Greek gallery are open so plan accordingly.
8. Exhibits keep changing throughout the year - so be prepared for surprises. Regardless of which exhibit you go to you'll find something interesting and informative.

I hope you found it interesting
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