Sunday, 20 July 2014

Interweave Create Jewelry Feature

Interweave's famous 101BNE - Bracelets necklaces and earrings has now been christened as "Create Jewelry" and is loaded with goodies for a jewelry enthusiast. Apart from the promised 101 tutorials there is a lot of information on colored gemstones and cold connection metal techniques which makes the book a great read.
Flipping through the pages, I found a lot of pieces incorporating leather and suede and hence knotting was the most common technique used. The range of the pieces (variety) and the ideas are far superior compared to last year's issue that it will delight all levels of beaders from beginner to advanced.
There are 8 different palettes (Sweet & Salty, Punchy Brights, Schoolroom Pastels, Feathers in Flight, Stained Glass Shades, Boho Beautiful, Berry Bounty, and Harvest Hues) and this time around they have chosen lighter or contrasting backgrounds so that the pieces are more visible.

Sayuri Necklace, feathers in flight, create jewelry magazine
Sayuri Necklace, feathers in flight section.
Kudos to Debbie (Blair) and the entire team for putting together such a fabulous issue.

I am humbled that she chose one of my pieces to include in the "feathers in flight" section. Learning from Last year's mistakes, I named my piece after my brand and also included my website and etsy shop address in my bio. So a pat on the back for me :)

Sayuri Necklace, feathers in flight, create jewelry magazine

This year the editors didnt want a detailed DIY but a complete list of resources, which I went really mad trying to provide as most of my supplies come from the Indian markets; nevertheless its a great experience. I hope to be published in stringing daily too one day, as its far more difficult to break into with my Indian sensibilities in design.

Create jewelry  is open for preorder now! So hurry up and get yourselves a copy

I hope you find it interesting
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Wednesday, 16 July 2014

3 Facebook groups to be a part of

Of all the social media sites that I belong to and use, I prefer facebook, as most of my friends are there, its active all the time and its one place where you can actually sell while keeping an eye on the competition. But at times Facebook acts like a spoiled child - algorithms completely change throwing the set rhythm off into a toss. Sometimes the reach is very less but its more interactive compared to the other sites and it a good way to get feedback, which is very important for a brand.

Facebook Groups are a great way to interact with people, shop and also learn more in your area of interest. There are many groups on any given topic, but here are three that I love being a part of

3 Facebook groups to be a part of

What- Buy & sell beads, supplies and findings
Group -  Beads,Components and Findings for Sale, India
Market - Mostly India but I have seen a lot of International wholesale buying happening here
Process - closed but with almost no moderation
One stop shop of jewelry related finds. Sellers range from manufacturers (glass beads, wire, displays) to importers and distributors. Most of these are facebook pages, with a few shop websites.
admins of the group take no responsibility for the transactions being made by the sellers and buyer. I have found both great and bad suppliers here. Also buy a sample amount before you go in for a big purchase.

 What- Buy & sell your top of the line, one of a kind pieces in the auction format
Group - Artisan Designers Jewelry Buy and Sell.
Market - International
Process - closed and strictly moderated
Its a great place to find one of a kind handmade - beaded jewelry pieces to buy and to sell as auctions. As a seller you can list up to but not more than 4 items for auction or Buy it now (BIN) at a time and keep it open for 1 to 7 days. As a buyer you can either bid on an item or buy it now (much like ebay) but you have to pay within 24 hours using paypal. They have very strict guidelines but the pieces listed there are drool worthy.

What - A group to help with your blog and social media pages
Group - The Blogging Bunch Support Group
Market - International
Process - secret and strictly moderated. You have to be a member of the blogging bunch group to apply here
Every day of the week the group promotes posts on different social media platforms. The Schedule goes like this Weekly Sharing Schedule: Monday - Facebook, Tuesday - Pinterest, Wednesday - Google+, Thursday - twitter, Friday - Social Media Follows (we'll change which social media every week) Friday evening through Sunday noon - Comment Love

 Which are the other facebook groups that you are a part of and would recommend, do tell in your comments. While you are on facebook, do check out my page - Sayuri and show some love (Like)

I hope you find it interesting
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Friday, 11 July 2014

Creating Jewelry with Fabric - a guest post

As Crafters we often hoard fabric, tucking away piles of fabric scraps in our closet or discarding them in the bin, hardly knowing how and where to use them. At times the scraps are either too small or too varied to make something substantial. But fear not, you can effectively use them to create matching accessories for every outfit of yours and don a new look every time you step out
Fabric jewellery is the new trend in vogue, stepping out of shadows. A host of designers, artisans, and brands are giving a twist to the traditional Indian jewellery with the help of scraps of fabric which are, then, adorned with rhinestones or even buttons. The result is feather-light, economical, skin-friendly statement pieces coming out in light.
fabric jewelry  by sayuri
Fabric jewellery has been in full swing internationally for quite some time now, and is a household word even with the rank and file there. But, in India this novel concept of jewellery is in its nascent stages with only some celebrities donning these. But considering the fact that fabric jewellery is attractive and affordable, it will bid fair with the masses in no time.
 All you need is a figment of imagination and a stash of leftover fabrics.  Fabric jewellery provides one with innumerable options in terms of texture, color, design and, therefore, the over-all look. This type of jewellery can be made using almost any kind of fabric, be it chiffon, georgette, tissue, organza and silk or the humbler jute and cotton. For the embellishment, everything from buttons, beads, pearls and shells to rhinestones, semi-precious stones, swarovski-crystals and kundan is on the offer.
fabric jewelry by sayuri
So, you can go for an out and out feminine look complete with fabric flowers, ribbon rosettes, laces and pearls or return to your roots with traditional hand-woven fabric, batik-dyed fabric, zardosi and kundan work. Alternatively, go high on bling quotient with swarovski crystals and semi-precious stones, or opt for embroidery, crochet, net and fabric beads for a graceful, suave look.
Satiate the creative pangs of the budding designer in you and give an expression to your creative ideas in the form of these simple and easy-to-make jewellery pieces. Here are some tutorials on fabric jewellery that you might want to try.

fabric jewelry tutorials by sayuri
Let your imagination run wild and create a plethora of accessories to enhance your outfits. You can, thus, easily use the leftover bits of textile to create a bold and edgy fashion statement. Just put on your thinking caps, create innovative, eye-catching pieces and be the cynosure of everyone’s eyes. All this and more makes fabric jewellery the flavour of the season and all you need to do is to try it before you believe it. So, go ahead, ditch the metal and flaunt your fabricated jewels like a fashionista.

About the author: Vichitra Agarwal (Bhajjanka) is a Kolkata based freelancer who writes articles, blog posts, product and book reviews and manages web content. Working as a ghostwriter for the last three years, she has covered a range of topics including travel, literature, people, fashion, food, and art among others. Armed with a post graduate degree in English literature, she equally enjoys crafting, crochet, and all things DIY. She can be reached at vichitragarwal at gmail dot com

Images by Sayuri

Tutorials Listed in this post
Fabric Jhumkas
Valentine BFF corsage
Scrunchie hairclip
Rose trim cuff
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Monday, 7 July 2014

Chithiram Season 2

A collection that began root in a simple pendant I wanted to make for my mother to preserve a Raja Ravi verma painting - postcard (as she loves his paintings) in 2011 and was eventually bought by a big retail website.
A collection that enforced the value of upcycled and recyled products
A collection that has been featured in national Television, National and local newspapers, magazines, ezines, blogs and columns.
A collection that was totally experimental, tough to create and grew under tight deadlines and exacting briefs given by media professionals
A collection and concept that has inspired spinoffs, knockoffs and copies by many brands and designers, with and without my permission
A collection, that I am proud to say belong to me and my brand. A collection that has become my legacy!!
A Collection that will be "Designed to Please your soul" again this year.

Chithiram 2 back in a whole new avatar!!

 This time around - the collection would be divided into two distinct lines - Chitthira katha (Picture stories) and Ragamala (Garland of ragas or musical nodes). Here is the post on one of my favourite pieces from the collection - Purva Raga

The collection consists of 50 pieces and here is a snapshot of the range available. This is only a preview, I will feature pieces from this collection soon. My schedule is pretty crazy so I am unable to write any descriptive post at the moment, so please bear with me.

Chitthira katha


I hope you find it interesting
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Tuesday, 1 July 2014

My Country Blog Hop - India

My country blog hop is a wonderful concept where handmade artisans from around the world come together to show people something about their home, their country via a handmade product. This year 25 people from 11+ countries are coming together in this blog hop hosted by Nan Smith of Nanmade - Handmade jewelry to narrate stories about their respective countries, states or provinces.

 I thought that this would be a great opportunity to display one piece from my new- upcoming collection - The second season of my most popular collections of all times - Chithiram.
Chithiram is a tamil word that means art, painting, movie or even a story; Chithiram by Sayuri, is an art to wear collection. In 2012 my focus was on Raja Ravi verma's (A great Indian artist who is well known for his portrayal of women in a classical way) paintings and I had used them on upcycled/recycled objects to create one of a kind wearable jewelry. Two years later, the entire line and concept being ripped off by dozens of jewelry makers and many requests from clients to bring back the original designs, I decided to bring it back with a twist.
This time around - the collection would be divided into two distinct lines - Chitthira katha (Picture stories) and Ragamala (Garland of ragas or musical nodes)
We Indians have a strong tradition of narrating stories using pictures, so the piece that I have chosen to showcase today - Purva Raga, falls under the Chithira Katha Category.

kemp necklace with radha krishna

Purva Raga is inspired by the Story of Radha Krishna, one of the greatest myths and Godly love stories of India. Its a glimpse of the eternal love story of Sri Krishna and Radha Rani  which is filled with unconditional love and devotion. Theirs is a story of two soul mates forever separated yet together in their minds - a symbol of the purity of love.

Sometimes when we hear a person or catch a glimpse of them (in a dream, photo or even in real life) without really interacting with them or listen to somebody else talk about them, we might get attracted to them and/or  fall in love with them. This is what "Purva Raga" means. There is indeed no rhyme or reason to it, it just happens due to connection between souls.
Purva raga - Source - Hare Rama, Hare Krishna Postcard

The design is an amalgamation of both North and South Indian aesthetics which are extremely different from one another. But our love of gold and preference to auspicious colors like red, green and yellow bind us together.
 As red is the color of love, I have chosen a red colored fabric to create the necklace stuffed with hollow beads. The focal is divided into two parts The first pendant is one half of a traditional South India hair accessory called Chandra prabha (meaning the moon, the other half is called Surya prabha meaning sun). The stones are artifical kemp (made from glass) and set in a plated copper setting, This style of jewelry is called Vadaserry or Temple (dance) jewelry or Simply as Kemp jewelry. It is worn especially during weddings and Bharatanatyam dance performances.
The second focal contains a decoupaged image of Radha looking at an image of Krishna on an acrylic base and has been rimmed with peal stone chain to coordinated with the wire wrapped pearls on the chandra phrabha. Both focals are wire wrapped together and then to the necklace.
kemp necklace with radha krishna 
I shot the pictures on a banana leaf for two reasons - 1) great color contrast 2) Due to its importance in Indian Culture. Banana leaves are very special to us; once commonly used as a leaf plate for meals, its now reserved for wedding and special occasions. The upper portion of the leaf is meant for fruits, vegetables, chips, pickles and the lower portion for rice. It is said that Lord Rama, divided the leaf into two parts so that his trusted deputy and follower Hanuman (a monkey) can share a meal with him by eating fruits from the same plate (leaf). Being served on a leaf that still has its tip intact without any tears or dryness is an honour. Food tastes much better when served on the leaf, plus its completely an eco friendly way to have a great meal!!

India is a great country with Diverse cultures with each region of every state having their own traditions, making it impossible to talk all about it, in one post. Hopefully I have brought out a few glimpses of our culture through my design and this post. I am looking forward to taking a bloggy world tour to see what everyone else has created. Do Join me in visit our lovely host Nan and hopping to all the blogs from there.

Recommended reading
Bridal series- South India
Types of Indian Jewelry
What is Kemp

I hope you find it interesting
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Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Colorful brass earrings with patina inks

I, like most Indians, have a weakness for color - neutrals bore me and colors liven me up. I am particularly attracted to colors that bond well with gold tones - like mid tones or deep deep colors rather than pastels. There was a time however when I liked only midtones and darks but jewelry making has prompted me to look at colors from a different perspective. I now associate them with skin tones, moods and attitudes which has enabled me think of unique and unconventional color combinations.
This Post however is about me taking the concept of using Patina inks  (from my Dhathu collection) to semi precious jewelry in my Sudya collection. I think adding color takes a metal component from being generic to being special.
As the findings are gold or silver plated I have played it safe by using traditional color combos like red and green, silver and blue while testing the waters by combining yellow green with pinks.

Elai earrings (Leaf earrings)
16K gold plated brass textured folded leaf earrings with emerald vintaj patina ink with red glass bead drops 
Colorful brass earrings with patina inks

Double lotus leaf earrings
silver plated brass lotus leaves findings altered with emerald and topaz vintaj patina inks with pink agate beads and silver plated pewter bead caps. Earring post - sterling silver, plated stoppers
. I have distressed the colors for a worn in feeling

Colorful brass earrings with patina inks
water drop earrings
 silver plated brass leaf findings altered with sapphire vintaj patina inks with blue glass drops in silver frame. Earring post - sterling silver, plated stoppers

Colorful brass earrings with patina inks

water lily Earrings
Double layered earrings Created with silver plated pewter lotus leaf findings altered with vintaj patina inks, real- fresh water pearls, brass chain and pink beads enclosed in silver plated frame. Hook pewter. These earrings can be worn in 3-in-1 style - with just the leaf, with just the pink drop on a chain and both put together . The color used is a greenish yellow but looks like turmeric in sunlight

Colorful brass earrings with patina inks
So what do you think of using color on metal and what are your favourites from these four?

The first two are available for sale
I hope you find it itneresting

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Friday, 20 June 2014

We're All Ears: June

I have been following The "Earrings Everyday" blog for sometime now, drooling over the beautiful pieces of earrings displayed everyday. I have come across very new, interesting materials and forms in the process. They also host a monthly earring design challenge called 'we are all ears' and I decided to take part this month, but as I am completely swamped creating my new collection, I forgot all about it until today - the reveal day. So here is my last minute attempt with two very simple earrings.

The "We're All Ears Inspiration Challenge" is very simple. An image would be provided for inspirations based on which we will create earrings, write a post, link up and visit everyone to see what they have created.
Here is this month's Inspiration: The Guggenheim museum central atrium

Though the architecture provides loads of indirect inspiration, I decided to go with the more direct ones like shape - spiral and cup and dark colors with light effects. (I had originally planned to do something with the nautilus structure)
To this point I choose simple oval glass beads with pyrite finish and antique brass spiral earhooks for the first one and and went with faceted greenish brown agate beads and gold plated brass cluster stud for the second one.
As my designs turned out to be quite plain, I have tried to spice them up by using the inspiration in my photography too. I picked a dried leaf with prominent veins and wood blocks to reflect the  skylight's frame and structure.

Hopefully I will spend more time and effort on next month's challenge.
Do visit all the other participants here 

Hope you find it interesting
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Tuesday, 17 June 2014

What is Sari Ribbon?

Whenever I look at works of other jewelry artists, I tend to look closely at the materials they use and if something is interesting or new, I try and research it. That is how I stumbled on Sari ribbon two years back. It looked beautiful, vibrant, expensive, new, yet very very familiar and  I was intrigued. I found a few vendors abroad selling it, though they had no description regarding the material, the zoom ups revealed sewn up fabric scraps. I had a "Aha!" moment for I had realised what they were - They were Silk Saree Scraps!!

I forgot all about them, until the recent bead soup blog hop when my partner Lilik mentioned that she would like some Sari ribbon from local markets. I could not control my laughter -  I was like 'buying sari ribbon here, thats a good joke'. I think I might have shocked her a little. Its funny as it is equivalent to buying old newspaper from a store, which you probably sold to them in the first place.  If it sounds confusing to you, just humour me, keep calm and read on ( my apologies for a long post!!) . Before going on to the technicalities of the ribbon, let me give you some background.

  what is Sari Ribbon

Saree and the Society

Traditional (read many years ago) Indian silk sarees, particularly the ones bought during weddings were heavy and had real silver thread or zari in their borders. Unlike the north, where wedding sarees had hardly worn, they are worn regularly in the south. Thus due to wear and tear, they literally tear or come apart after a few years. The artistic ones would convert them into cushion covers, curtain or make clothes for kids as the sarees were quite expensive to begin with. But  they would soon end up with small tears unable to take the pressure of the sewing machine and would be relegated to the attic as people dint know what to do with them.
Then in mid 2000s came maverick saree stores with new interesting designs and light weight silks enticing the younger crowd by offering exchanges. Brand new pattern saree in exchange for an old one, whatever be its condition..

This Masterstroke of a marketing campaign led to small business selling lots of new light weight sarees with silver plated or silver finish zari which was a drastic reduction in quality and durability compared to the old ones but people were okay with it for several reason - chief of them not spending money out of their pockets and secondly not having to ask their husbands or inlaws before buying them.. Generally women never bought silk sarees for themselves, by themselves, unless they were public figures or very rich ( This did not extend to cotton or synthetic sarees, simple silks  or salwars that women wore on an everyday basis). Even when the woman worked, it would always be a parent, sibling, husband, inlaws or son who paid for the sarees chosen by the woman though this has drastically changed now. This was not merely due to financial dependance as buying a silk saree was considered a gesture of love and duty, something that is sadly missing nowadays.

The stores made up for the difference by recycling the zari into metal and silk part into fibre pulp and selling them. But for the most part the silk portion was considered waste - until someone had the idea  to chop them up and sell them as ribbons.

Thus was born the Sari Ribbon!! 

types of silk sarees
Types of Saree materials - Polyester, Poly cot, silk cot, pure silk (mulberry), Tussar silk, Jute Silk, Viscose-poly blend
 So when I saw sari ribbon being sold, I marvelled at it, being a pro recycling designer but it also saddened me thinking that it will never work here in India. I remember, in 2011, when I used a frayed silk ribbon in a metal necklace, almost everyone I showed it to accused me of putting a "good pendant on scrap fabric" and reducing its value. Three years later the situation is still the same. An average Indian prefers shiny metal over patina, bright colours over muted tones and perfect mould finished over raw natural work. I am being neither judgmental here nor apologetic, for even I am like that sometimes; maybe its what suits our skin tone better.

But seeing people here go to great lengths to import organza ribbon and gross grain and people in the west do the same with Indian lampwork beads and fabric ribbons - I can safely say that it is the classic case of grass being greener on the other side 

Indian saree types   
Types of Saree materials -Cotton, Silk crepe, Printed poly crepe, printed cot poly, tie dyed poly, embroidered poly
  The main reason for writing this post - is to bring awareness regarding this material. So much of the fabrics I saw during the blog hops were not silk sari ribbons- most of them werent silk (mulberry, tussar or eri) they were spun silk which is polyester and most of them werent from recycled sarees.   They were just cut out of new fabric and washed to give a worn out feel freaking out the fashion designer in me. And I felt really sad that people using them, didnt realise it. Some even mentioned that they didnt know how to recognise sari ribbons or even identify silk. Somehow I felt some strange sense of duty (?); wanted to clear some myths and give tips to recognize real sari silk.

  Sari ribbon Facts

1) Sarees can be made from any material - not necessarily silk (please see pics of different sarees). Silk is a fibre and Sarees are 6 yards (or more) fabric that is worn as a garment. A  pure silk saree can be a plain silk saree, brocade, jacquard, chiffon, crepe and even Georgette. Tussar, Eri and muga are non mulberry silks. Ahimsa silk is made from cocoons discarded by silk worms.
2) True recycled sari ribbons will not be crisp - they will be soft - have a worn in feeling - water spots and iron marks will be seen in larger widths.
3) To identify silk - just smell it - It should smell like hair - If you burn a strand it should smell like eggs or burning meat for Silk is basically a protein

 Sari Ribbon necklace 
Saree border necklace, Silk Thread necklace

4) Silk thread used in jewelry is an embroidery thread, it is not the silk yarn that is used in weaving. It could be fine silk, rayon or viscose blends.
5) Sari ribbon is different from border ribbon or borders. Borders resemble woven saree border designs (may/may not have sequins/stones fixed on them) and are usually attached to sleeve hems of blouses to match with the sarees. They are also stitched on to plain sarees, kurtas, skirts, bags and home furnishings!!
6) Sarees can be made with tie and dye techniques too ( Bhandini, Ikat, Sungudi), so ribbons cut from them might have differential dyeing effects - usually with patterns (e.g above green saree with pink stripes called leheriya) but they are different from silk shibhori ribbons.
7) Traditional silk sarees are woven in single colors or dual colors (double shade) and can be either solids, stripes, checks or patterned but they will rarely be dyed in different colors across the width. That rules out most of the so called recycled/authentic ribbon I found available on US sites.

That sums up what I know on silk sari ribbons. I dont claim to be an expert on this topic and Apart from cutting out worn out sarees at home I havent really played with the "manufactured sari ribbons", so any addition of that knowledge will be appreciated. Please leave your thoughts in the comments.

I hope you find it interesting
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Jewels of Sayuri


Creative Commons License
Tutorials listed under Sayuri TM by Divya N are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.Jewelry designs of Divya N (for Sayuri) are copyrightedMore