Seemantham flower jewellery

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These days all I seem to have time for, is flower jewellery. I started working on a new collection for Fall/winter 2015 but I am making very slow progress. Even thinking about the fact that, after making them, I have to photograph and catalogue them, write descriptions and price them, market them and actual sell them makes me tired and makes me procrastinate.
On the other hand, Creating flower jewellery seems to be rather painless. Yes I still need to correspond with the client tens of times over mail or phone, sometimes both and yes its painstaking work, with no guarantee of how it will turn out to be but it somehow comforts me. Its become, a sort of convention now, one that I am able to fit into my routine, even in bits and pieces.
Here is a set a made using real pink roses (paneer roses) for a Seemandham function.

real flower jewellery

Seemandham is a sort of baby shower, where the mother-to-be is blessed by her friends and family. Called Seemandham in the south and Godh Barayi in the North, it is a function where the father claims the paternity of the child. In some communities women are adorned with glass, gold and silver bangles in each hand which they will continue to wear until their delivery. This ritual is based on practicality as glass bangles could be jingled to get attention of family members, if the mother to be was in distress or going into labour and couldnt call out. Also her family could place her at all times, just by following the jingle of her bangles, making sure that she was never alone.

Seemantham rose flower jewellery

My client wanted hot pink roses with gold beads to match her saree and hair do for the function. She required both short and long necklaces, earrings and a matha patti (forehead ornament. that goes around the head). This was the first time that I had done an elaborate forehead ornament. It had graduating sizes of light and dark flowers and three lines of beads at the side. I balanced out the pearls in it by adding pearls all over the set. 
Making real flower jewellery is often very tough. It has to be done at the last possible minute as you want the flowers to last through the event. You cannot be sure if the materials you get on that particular day will match your client's requirement. I had reserved hot pink roses for this client, but my florist just took a sick day, so bye bye roses. I had to visit multiple florists and send so many alternates to the client to finalise the flowers. Ofcourse emotions ran high at the last moment, but we finally figured it out and the set was made at 12AM and photographed around 1 AM under tubelight, hence the color difference of items in the pictures.

matha patti

When a client gives a real flower set order, I usually counsel them on the pros and cons to make sure that they understand what goes into making a set, how long it will last and why it costs so much so that they have no disappointments in the end. But still, as a maker, I have butterflies in my stomach, until the client gives a positive feedback. She loved them and she client sent me photos of the event. I was really glad that the pieces fit in perfectly with her saree, makeup and the decor of the venue.

Do note that real lower jewellery orders are only for Chennai, with self pickup from my place. Please mail me at jewelsofsauri(at)gmail(dot)com to place your orders.

I hope you found it interesting 
Cheers
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Romani Silk thread jewelry

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I seldom create jewelry for me or for a client like me, but for My Romani collection of Mixed Media Jewelry, I couldnt ask for a better muse. I am someone who is very bold, straightforward, blunt to the point of being rough but I am also extremely soft, kind, fast to forgive and very affectionate. As a woman of contrasts, I like wearing accessories that bring out these potpourri of characteristics which are quite complicated. In this collection, I have used the soft contrast of  silk yarn with the blunt hammered shapes of metal as a way to heighten these dichotomies. Wire becomes a binding factor that brings these opposities together beautifully. Romani, in short is for a free spirited, bold, independent, kind woman, like me - Like you! 
The following pieces are created using a yarn called "Silk thread". Silk thread is the commercial name for Viscose - polyester  embroidery thread. The ones used in this collection are sturdy, color fast and have cotton ball - loop closure. Silk thread jewelry is currently the rage in India mainly due to the luxurious look that it portrays.
Romani Silk thread jewelry
Petala - a petal style leaf - Hand made silk cord with a wire wrapped copper - gold pendant (from Blue moon beads).  Available for sale

Violca - meaning Violet flower- my most beautiful Stamped solder piece from this line. Copper pendant with pure silver design which has been enamelled and shaded. Put together simply on a silk cord with wrapped pearls to be worn with a casual or semi formal outfit. Available for sale


Viola: Like Violca, Viola too refers a violet flower. Here I have abstracted a traditional 4 petal flower motif to create a tab set pendant. Instead of setting a stone, I have domed a circle of bronze to be used as the focal. Looped ball chain adorns the focal. Sold
 

Esmeralda - Of emerald!! - Hand made orange silk cord wire wrapped with a leaf pendant. The leaf is form folded copper that is styled with cold enamels and patina inks and covered with resin. It has a normal birds nest with pearls on teh leaf. The drop by contrast is a traditional Indian enamelled (meena) teardrop. The wrap has wire spirals in3 colors (gold, copper and green) of annodized aluminum wires along with Japanese pyramid studs. Available for sale
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Tasaria - refers to a New dawn. I have used a variety of crystal beads - different in color and shape to showcase the essence of a new dawn - filled with myriad sounds, lights and textures.  I have used a 'Christmas tree' like pattern for its obvious geometry along with its theological connection (the birth of Christ indicating a new dawn!)



I have kept these pieces fuss free and wearable as I wanted to create a range that working women could wear to work with their crisp cotton shirts, cotton sarees or kurtas. Unlike the west, workwear in India is colorful, more freeing and provides a lot of scope for the wearer to bring about their personality. These necklaces are simple, yet OOAK (one of a kind) pieces that would make heads turn not just around the water cooler but also at meetings and presentations. Though personally I dont wear many cord necklaces, the understated glam and the quirkiness of these designs could fit right in with my personal style.
 In case you have missed, find other designs from this collection here
- Romani Gypsy inspired jewelry
- Romani Mixed Media Jewelry

I hope you found it interesting
 Cheers
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Jewelry Around the world - Madras Day

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August 22nd 2015, sees Chennai, the city where I live celebrate its 376th Birthday. Fondly celebrated as "Madras Day" this was the day (in 1639) when Francis Day, a colonial administrator, struck a deal with a local ruler, the Nayak of Vandavasi over a strip of land to create a new town - Chennapattinam where Fort St George, which houses the Tamil Nadu legislative assembly, stands today. Chennapattinam became "Madras" was later rechristened as Chennai in 1996.

Chennai was listed as one of the must visit places in the world in 2014  in New York times and among the top ten in Lonely Planet's Best in Travel 2015 guide. However Chennai is not only about Beaches, temples and shopping. Its got so many more things to do. This time last month, along with 3 of my colleagues, I gave a presentation on Chennai as a part of the orientation programme for the first year students at my college, when I talked about 25 destinations for the artistic soul in Chennai. As I am unable to upload the entire presentation here I thought that I'll share with you, two interesting Tamil songs about Chennai that we played on that day.

The first one the "Madras song" is about a Mumbai girl who gets stuck in Chennai as she misses her flight and decides (reluctantly) to do sight seeing. This song captures the spirit of Chennai and how she enjoys some of the offbeat as well as touristy places.


This second song, Chance illa (a slang that means that there is no chance [that there is a place better than Chennai]) is by Anirudh, a music director and singer who takes you around different places in Chennai and talks about the emotions that run high in the city


I hope that you enjoyed these songs. Earlier this week, I had a chance to showcase Indian culture through a tutorial in the Jewelry Around the World series by Craft Paper Scissors and allfreejewelrymaking where designers from around the world - Egypt, Hawaii, USA, Hungary, Ecuador and ofcourse India shared jewelry ideas that were deeply influenced by their own land and theirculture. I posted a tutorial on How to make Gold Jhumkas while talking about India.


tutorial on How to make Gold Jhumkas

I have written many posts on how the Jhumka is the quintessential Indian jewelry that has an amazing fan following among women of different age groups on this blog before. In Tamil Nadu (my state) gold Jimkis or jhumkas are very commonly worn by young women. In fact its the most commonly worn jewelry at weddings. Since I have my cousin's wedding coming up, I made these light weight beauties for myself. I have used simple and easily available materials like paper, gold acrylic beads, rhinestone chain and big sequins to make these statement earrings. The best part about these earrings is that they are detectable and the studs alone can be paired with western wear to make a statement. 
My Jhumkas dont shake when worn as I wanted to make them detachable, but regular jhumkas do as they have small ghungroos (dangles) below the dome. See how they shake in the first video. Thanks Rozantia, for pointing it out :)

diy gold studs DIY Gold Jhumkas

Here is a small picture tutorial. Please visit the CPS blog for a detailed tutorial. Do not forget to take a look at these other beautiful creations, while you are there

Jewelry Around the world Itinerary

Day 1, Monday, August 17: India Inspired DIY Earrings
Day 2, Tuesday, August 18: Hawaiian Orchid DIY Earrings
Day 3, Wednesday, August 19: Great Lakes Stamped & Enameled DIY Necklace
Day 4,Thursday, August 20: Pueblo Dream Catcher DIY Earrings
Day 5, Friday, August 21: Egyptian Jewel Friendship DIY Bracelet
Day 6, Saturday, August 22: DIY Nautical Wrap Bracelet and Ecuador Inspired Fiesta Colorful DIY Bracelet
Day 7, Sunday, August 23: Hungarian Folk-Style Painted DIY Pendant Tutorial


So how did you like these earrings? Tell me in the comments if you make jewelry/crafts inspired by your country, state or culture and what is special about them. Also don’t forget to share your jewelry making skills with #jewelryaroundtheworld on social media this weekend
I hope you found it interesting
Cheers
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Jasmine flower jewellery for Pithi

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What do you do when a NRI ( non resident Indian) bride requests you to make a bridal set at short notice, because she couldnt find what she wanted anywhere else for her pithi? You make it; even though you are completely swamped and super tired - for every girl is entitled to look like a princess during her wedding !!
For the Uninitiated, Pithi (like haldi) is a pre wedding ceremony in certain Indian communities where a paste of chickpea flour, turmeric and rose water are applied on the bride and groom's face, hands and legs to cleanse the skin and impart a bridal glow. After the paste is applied on the bride or groom (the ceremony takes place separately for the bride and groom), the relatives assembled, particularly women apply it on one another. It is said that, when the bride or groom apply it on their unmarried relatives or friends, it increase their chance of getting married, much like the catching of the bouquet in the western context.


Anyway this particular Bridal Drama, starts with this sweet bride mailing me to ask for artificial set that will look like real jasmine flower jewelry in a very short time. After work I do this mad dash for the stores, where I dont find anything remotely similar to what is required. I mail her lots of alternatives, quietly taking photos at the store till the shopkeepe shoos me out. After some mad continuous emailing and hopping from store to store, I find bead and charms that could pass off for Jasmine flowers and then slowly magically, everything falls into place. I find the exact color beads, findings and stone I require as per her brief.


 
Jasmine Flower jewelry set- This White jasmine and gold bridal set with orange and green accents comprises of  a short necklace, a Maang Tika (forehead ornament), Ear Studs, Waistbelt and  Haath Phool
  This set is very different for all the other designs I did so far as its very dainty. The haath phools do not have a flower for the ring but a kundan center, and this was also the first time that I did studs in flower jewelry. It was a bit challenging to make flowers of different sizes, using the same size 'buds' and I had to embellished all the kundans first with orange color thread to match her attire and then incorporate them into the design


While working on this set I thought of how Haldi or Pithi can be compared to the south Indian Nalangu  that I am used to. We too put ground turmeric on the bride's and groom's hands, feet and face. It might be done pre or post wedding mostly as a blessing ritual as opposed to a beautification ritual and it is all done during other celebrations like puberty function, baby shower, 60th wedding anniversary, etc. Thinking about the ritual reminded me of one of the verses from Varanam Ayiram by Andal (from Nachiyaar Thirumozhi), where the Goddess poet describes a post wedding ritual where she and her husband where smeared with Kumkum and sandalwood paste, taken for a ride atop a majestic adorned elephant and cooled with a bath of sacred waters.


Alas this bridal story has albeit a slightly sad ending with a lot of heart ache. Even though I made the set in 4 days time and sent it through express post and it reached US in 5 days; She only received it well after her wedding as it got stuck in ISC New York NY for almost 18 days before they finally delivered. That too after repeated request from both her side as well as mine. This is why I request all prospective brides, particularly those abroad to place an order well in advance and avoid any heartache arising due to shipping. I do hope that someone gets to wear the set, as I made it with a lot of love!
I hope you found it interesting
 Cheers
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Creating Thematic jewelry collections

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A lot of people who see my work, ask me about the "Themes of my collections". They are baffled by the various types, concepts and interpretation of themes I use. So I thought that it will make an interesting post (Series of posts??) to talk about themes and how to make a thematic collection.
First, Let me answer the questions that I am asked the most. I am not an expert on design methodology nor a branding genius, so this is not an advice or tips post, but a 'loud thinking' sort of a post with honest answersI am not bragging, I promise!


1) Did I/do I always make thematic collections?
No, in the beginning when I started to make jewelry, I was just learning the ropes. Hence to play it safe, I did not do thematic collections. I merely grouped them into collections based on the colors and beads used as I mostly did beaded jewelry then with hints of wire, leather or resin thrown in


2)My first thematic collection
Chronologically speaking, in 2012 my "Royalty" collection which was based on grandeur and royalty was my first. But my first true collection with an outstanding storyline was Chithiram. Even though as a designer, who was taught in a design school to create original, concept based thematic collections, I found the courage to do that and do it successful commercially only because the creatives at Blue mango films had confidence in me to create a thematic collection for a TV shoot.

 

3) Where do I look for themes? What is my source of inspiration?
I get easily bored, so I read a lot on a variety of topics to amuse myself. I travel, observe and try to learn the culture, aesthetics and symbiosis of the places and the people I visit. I also talk to people about the things they do, and try to learn about how they do their job or hobby from them. I also spend time everyday reading about, learning or practicing a new technique. I love history, and I am particularly proud of my rich Indian culture, myths and traditions that is so vast and all encompassing.  Lastly I spend a lot of time Day dreaming and telling stories to myself. My inspirations come from any or all of the above.

pixie dust jewelry

4) How do I know if a particular theme will work when I choose it?
Honestly, I dont know, I just take a risk. I have had epic success and majors fails. I just hope and pray God that it works!

5) So why take the risk, why cant I stick to my one USP; the one theme that has worked out the best for me?
People ask me all the time, why dont I stick to one thing, something proven, safe, not just with reagrd to jewelry but with the way I dress or work or write. I just have one simple answer- I get bored and I hate routines.Taking risks is what keeps my creativity growing, which gives me courage to face the competition. 
My USP is that every collection, every piece of mine is unique. so yes, I am sticking to my USP by doing different concepts every year. Plus in fashion, Change is everything and if as a fashion designer I cannot create that change, then I am nothing. 

quotes on fashion

6) Sources: Places to find curated Themes
If one is not a trained designer or an artist, one might find it difficult to develop and idea or an inspiration into a theme. Doubts will arise, like how to make this intangible concept into wearable designs or how to combine ideas to create a fruitful theme. Concept creation is an elaborate process ( I will help you navigate the channels of creation in my following posts on this topic) and requires time and effort. For Newcomers, it might be over whelming in the beginning. But there is not need to fear. 

 With the abundance of designers, curators and trend researches there is no dearth of curated themes, particularly on the web. These Concept notes or trend reports will give you a comprehensive run down of how a particular can be used to create working designs. Choices of material, color, shapes would all form a part of these reports.As a bonus, these reports are market Savvy, that means that they will showcase "Only those stories that have a potential of being sold or bought in the coming season".  These are called Trend forecast reports

WGSN JEWELRY FORECAST

 Best places to find them are forecasting agencies (sites) like WGSN, Promostly, View, Mud Pie, etc. However on the downside, subscription to these agencies are expensive for single individuals but work great if many can get together at one physical location to access them. Alternatively many online websites like Firemountain gems provide seasonal reports which might be less reliable (as they are targeted towards their own inventory) but free to use. You can also look at sites like Fashionista or Style.com for fashion trends for a particular season and get inspired by the designs/look created by established designers.


With that, we come to the end of this post. Look for my next post in this series which will detail "How to identify a theme for a collection" which I hope would be useful to those of you who want to start your own line and are looking for some help.
I also offer design services, where I can look at your current work, interests, skill set, strengths and customer bases (demographics) and suggest concepts and help you build up your themes at a professional level. Please mail me with your individual requirements.

In the comments, do tell me, if you make thematic collections. Do you use recurring themes or conjure up unique concepts every time? If you are not, would you be interested in creating thematic lines?
 Also would you like me to help you create thematic lines? If yes, then subscribe to this blog on bloglovin and follow me on social media for tips and tricks (Buttons at the top right sidebar of your desktop or just below the post on your mobile phone screen)

 I hope you found it interesting
 Cheers
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How Art Beads are made

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Until a couple of years back, I had no idea what "an art bead" was and then I came across the Artbeadscene blog where they had contests using art beads. The designs looked wonderful, almost poetic with mostly lampwork beads. So I thought that only lampwork beads must be art beads until I found metal components too in the same category. 
I was confused as how can a pendant or connector that is in metal or clay can be called as "Art bead" and set about exploring the world of these wonderful creations. I participated in contests, won or made (sorry tried making) beads, bought some and interacted with various artists to learn about them. I slowly learnt that a handmade bead or component; need not necessarily be an art bead, just because its handmade, it needs to be created by artist based on a concept or theme - for example lampwork beads made in bulk at factories or silver wire beads are not considered art beads.

 

During my interactions, I came across Genea Crivello, a lampwork artist who makes beautiful beads that resembles marbles and candies. I deem it my priviledge to interact with her and feature her work here. So lets Meet - Genea of Genea beads and ask her how she makes her beads

What are Art beads?
 Art beads are any handmade beads or components created by an artist. I create handmade lampwork glass beads that are melted by a torch flame and then kiln annealed for strength and durability.


What inspires you to create these beads?
I am inspired by the world around me by shapes, colors, and textures. I may see a color scheme that strikes me and I will create some of my signature "Wing Ding" beads or a I may see a motif I like and see if I can translate that into glass. This design process may spark new ideas while I work at the torch that may take the design into a completely different direction. This is the amazing thing about creating beads and being inspired.

Vortex flower bead
Vortex flower bead
The Vortex Flower bead was formed as a happy accident. I was trying to make a more rounded flower shape but Heat and gravity caused this cone shaped wavy flower. I loved the shape so much that I made my Vortex Flower Garden necklace based on it

I love lots of different colors and textures for my work. While making this set of headpins I thought that they would be perfect for Mis-matched earrings, little drop dangles, or 3-tier focals.

Glass is a very versatile medium - you can make beads that are clear, make it look frosted or even make it look like stone. Spiral earth beads used in my design for Wirework Magazine Spring 2015 were purposefully made imperfect with stamping so that they look straight out of an archeological dig.
frosted art beads
 "Sugar Beach Rainbows" lentils
I love color and play with it in my work. For my Sugar beach rainbow beads I wanted soothing colors but with a distressed stone texture. I carefully selected colors of a rainbow that gently fade one into another reminding me of sunny days on the beach and warmer temperatures. These Lentil beads can be teamed up with  some pastel Swarovski crystals, patinated chain, sterling silver, and sari silk. to make bracelets and gorgeous earrings.

 
Materials I find, also motivate me to create new designs. Inspired by a beautiful streaky veiled cane I picked up at Bead Fest (Philadelphia), I made these streaky hollow lampwork beads in cranberry, violet, amethyst, capri blue, and lime green. They urged to be made into this incredible light but gorgeous glass necklace with wooly wire and black tubing. I call it "Out of Orbit" mixed-media necklace.
Mistakes and experiments are a big part of the process. I discovered the "wing ding" design by mistake when I mashed a bead that frustrated me, creating a fun double-paddle shaped bead that are a big hit in my store. I hope that I will explore more such interesting designs in the future.
 
Thank you Genea for sharing different facets of your creative process with us. I hope that this will help us appreciate art beads more.Connect with Genea on Facebook or on Instagram. Do check out her etsy shop for beads  for more one of a kind art beads that you can use in your designs. Connoisseurs who collect but dont make jewelry can purchase her handmade jewelry at GeneaCK etsy store 


So tell me in the comments, Do you make art beads or do you use art beads in your work? I hope you found it interesting
 Cheers
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Necklace Tutorials for you

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In the last few months, I have been writing very many tutorials - of different skill levels exclusively for the Favecrafts blog. If you have done any surfing on the net for crafts or recipes or scrapbooking you must have stumbled on to any one of the sites by Prime Publishing like favecrafts or craftpaperscissors or allfreejewelry making. What a lot of you might not know that apart from curating content from great bloggers in different niches and publishing newsletters, that also have blogs that create and present original content.
I have had the good fortune of writing for these blogs a few times now and working with editors like Nicola Pryball, Kayla, Caitlin, Chris and ofcourse Simone hereself ,who first accepted my proposal to write for them.
I have only posted tutorial (links) to the shimmering Sunglasses pendant in my Mother's day post and Upcycled bottle necklace so far in this blog so I thought of sharing two more with you today.

Lets start with necklaces 
 A simple, easy to make Draw String necklace with red shell talons, pink stone beads, carnelian beads and spacers. Dont let the summer sun scorch you - Have fun at resort or pool parties by being Tribal Chic- Learn to make this Spicy Tribal DIY Statement Necklace 

tribal necklace 

Mixed media mini keepsake book necklace - Mixed media mini keepsake books are all the rage now. They can be converted into jewelry, added to key rings or used as bag charms
I worked with MD metals brass sheet for this project. These sheets are great to be embossed - easy to texture and dont crack like how copper foils do and only require minimal pressure. Plus they lend themselves well to clean cuts so no or only minimal filling is required.

 


Based on my tutorial, I also created these cool key chains for my parents for their 35th anniversary. I embossed 35 years on the back with their names on the front.Since I wanted the key chains to be really usable (and water resistant), I first wrote a message on the paper inside, applied resin on the paper and wire wrapped them as it was hard to saddle stitch. I think that its a wonderful gift to share with your loved one with personalised messages.

What do you think? Would you try these tutorials?
I hope you found it interesting
Cheers
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