DIY Colorful Poppins hoop earrings

Indian kids would have had vastly different childhoods depending on where they lived, the language they spoke or how their parents were. But one thing that would be common would be love for Parle sweets and snacks; Particularly Poppins.
Poppins is a roll of hard-boiled rounded sweet-tangy very colorful sugar candies, with unique fruit flavours. As a  kid it would be so thrilling to open a roll to find out which color would be on top and if all the friends/siblings would get their favourite colors. At about Rs.2 a roll, it was something every kid could enjoy enjoy. Not to mention adult who quietly ate from the roll that was stashed by their kids and then scrubbed their tongues clean so as to not get caught.:) Oh what fun!! If you have never seen one, scroll down to the end of this post for a picture.

Recently I had made colorful hoop earrings and worn them to college one day and a colleague who saw them, immediately pointed out excitedly to a group of students saying -"Look she's wearing poppins" and grinned playfully. Soon people gathered around me trying to look at the colors and basically play with my earrings and I was reminded of a giggling group of kids looking at a roll of poppins for the first time in their lives. And that's how, my beautiful Ladies, these earrings got their name -  Poppins hoop earrings.  Here is a DIY tutorial; do check it out.
Colorful Poppins hoop earrings
- 20g Artistic silver wire
- 24g Artistic silver wire
- 8mm Fire opal beads - 4 
- Acrylic/glass crystal faceted rondrels - Green - 4, Pink - 4, Golden yellow - 2
- Tools - Mandrel (ring mandrel or marker), round nose and chain nose pliers, wire cutter, Nylon hammer and block (optional)

1. Make your own wire Hoops or buy a ready made pair. Check below on how to make your own hoop earrings.
2. Cut 2 lengths of 12" of 24g artistic wire. Since I am more of a wing it type of a person, I dont exactly remember how much wire I used. Do take more wire if you want additional wraps between the beads.
3. Add a golden crystal in the center of one length of wire and wrap once on both sides to the hoop frame. Now let us finish one half of the frame before moving on to the other side.  
4. On any one side add a Fire opal wrap once to the frame. By wrap once I mean "one full wrap + another half wrap" i.e. wrap once till it comes back to the starting point, take the wire over the frame, add the next bead and wrap.
5. Repeat step 4 with one pink and one green crystal. 
6. Finish with 2-3 wraps as desired. Cut and tuck the wire end. 
7. Repeat Steps 4-6 on the other side to finish one earring. Repeat steps 3-6 to complete the pair

 How to Make wire Hoops

1. Cut 2 lengths of 4" of 20g artistic wire (it can be more or less depending on the hoop size that you want) and straighten them
2. On one end made a loop with round nose pliers on each of the wires. Hammer lightly to strengthen the wire
3.Wrap the wire around a cylindrical object like a ring mandrel and insert the remaining wire into the loop. For  cylindrical object that dont have markings, make a marking with a marker to make sure that both the hoops are of the same size.
4. Hammer once again all around the hoop to work harden the piece preferably while on the mandrel. I dont recommend hammering the portion where the wire with turn through the loop.
5. Turn the remaining wire at a 45 -60 degree angle so that it acts as a catch while wearing the hoops. Flush cut and file the ends. Your Wire hoops are now ready to be worn. 

If you wish you can wear the hoops as is without adding any beads to them or you can wire wrap the entire frame if you want something more ornate. I wanted a pair that would capture the fun of Poppins and hence I have kept it light and open. So pop in a poppin(s) and take in all that tangy goodness and flaunt these newly made hoop earrings.

 Disclosure: These gorgeous fire opals were sent to me for a review from Craftyful 
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Romani - Gypsy inspired mixed media Jewelry

Imagine a land, not very far far away. The sky is painted a reddish orange as the sun sets close to a grassland marketplace. Laughter bubbles up in the air as beautiful gypsies trade bead, baubles and interesting stories with one another. Fires are lit as the camp prepares for the night, children run around playing around the musical tableau set by some old wise men. As the music strums through, these bewitching Romani gypsies wearing beads, cords and hand forged metal, dance twirling their underskirts completely enchanting the crowd gathered at the marketplace.

Photos from Svenko
 Inspired by each one of these gypsies (and their names) I present a collection of beautiful jewelry made of hand forged metal components, braided cords and beads that are bohemian, with a deep rooted ethnic flavour. I present "Romani" designed as ever to please your soul. Here are the first five pieces from Romani. All of the following pieces are available for sale; please mail me to buy.


 Zeita - Means Goddess. this necklace comprises of a handcut ruffled and textured brass pendant that is flame painted and treated with patina inks to produce an unique effect. It is augmented by the prong set glass focal at the center that is framed with pearl-stone chain. This necklace  is fit for a Goddess with the pendant having a garland of 'x's and 'o's as a sort of an offering, a dedication. The neck cords are made of cotton cord in bright yellow and bottle green and can be knotted at the back making the necklace adjustable
* Update: There are many comments on this post where people have talked about the "Magical power" symbolised by the Zeita necklace. To be frank, I felt it too while making it and hunted a while for the perfect name for this piece. This necklace originally started off as a contemporary piece made of cord and a hammered pendant, but it felt deeply lacking and somehow adding The eye with the yellow stone, seemed to breathe life into the piece. May be I have read too many Nora Roberts' books or I was a mystical Gypsy in my past birth, but Zeita speaks to me. I am glad that it speaks to you too

Mirela - Mirela means to admire. This Mixed metal bohemian necklace has been made using handmade, textured and oxidised copper and brass components stacked on top of one another and riveted.  The handmade beaded cords and rustic clasp adds to its charm

Mirosi - means to savour . Savour the delights of this mixed media beaded necklace created using handcut metal, specially made shimmering enamel resin focal, braided cord and looped beads. The gold flecks in the cab along with the crystal beads and dichroic resin drop makes this a sparkling addition to your wardrobe. The necklace is slightly asymmetrical with opening in the front. Expect a tutorial for this necklace soon, on the IceResin blog


Lumina - Lumina referes to 'a source of light' often meaning bright or brilliant. This Extremely Light weight necklace comprises of a Handwoven patinated copper pendant with a verdigris finish and is looped together with magnesite and cedarwood beads. Designed to look like a "woven silk Kottadi saree" (Saree with metallic thread checks) with a bejewelled border and a brilliant rhinestone drop.

Andree - Meaning warrior - warrior style Goddess Necklace made with Hammered brass bib, a wire wrapped square lava bead and genuine sheep leather


These were the first few pieces from Romani; More are yet to come. How do you like them and which one is your favourite? Would you wear metal and thread together in such a bohemian style?
Stay tuned to read more about them piece by piece in the upcoming posts or hop to my facebook page Sayuri to see the entire collection together

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plastic jewelry

We often tend to dismiss plastic as a jewelry making supply and consider it cheap but did you know that early forms of plastic  and other natural occurring or synthetically created polymer jewelry were prized possession in the late 19th and early 20th century?  
During the 1920's, Auguste Bonaz, a French merchant, produced unusually beautiful chains and brooches made of galalith, chromium and bakelite. Coco Chanel and Elsa Schiaparelli took the world by a storm with their costume jewelry that included beautiful plastics. How can we forget the retro plastic jewelry of the eighties that was big, bold and completely out there? Still we shy away from it. With this thought in mind, I want to show you some beautiful Vintage jewelry from various Etsy Shops that are made out of plastic.
Art Deco Rootbeer Bakelite Spider Brooch

Art Deco Rootbeer Bakelite Spider Brooch from

Bakelite: The first time I looked at a book on designer western costume jewelry in 2003 I found bakelite being used. I was shocked for as far I knew then bakelite was used to make electrical switches. Bakelite considered as The first true synthetic plastic was developed by Dr. Leo H Baekeland in 1909. Later in 1927 US Catalin corporation came up with transparent versions and coloring techniques such as marbling. Also known as Catalin, prystal, durez or marbelette these give off a distinct smell.

Carved Vintage Bakelite
Carved Vintage Bakelite Annular and Pink Rings by
Lucite - Lucite that is very commonly used to make lucite flowers was made as PMMA in 1930s as an alternative to glass. It was later marketed as plexiglass or perspex. Lucite is brighter and glossier compared to bakelite and is treasured for its transparency.

Faceted Lucite Starburst Flower Brooch
Faceted Lucite Starburst Flower Brooch from

Science nerds like me would recognise vulcanite - another special jewelry polymer. Developed through vulcanisation and Patented as ebonite it was often used in mourning jewelry as an alternative to ebony as it was originally made in black. Now you can find it in various colors too
 Polyvinyl Chloride resin commonly known as Vinyl or PVC is also a plastic that is a lost cost, water resistant, durable materials. Its most used for Piping now, though Vinyl records and flooring was common a few years back.

African Vulcanite Tassel Bracelet, Vintage Vinyl
 African Vulcanite Tassel Bracelet, Vintage Vinyl from

Gutta percha- made from the sap of gutta tree like rubber gutta is used as an alternative to ebony and jet black
Gutta Percha Victorian Bracelet Hinged Bangle-  1850s Mourning Jewelry by

In 1898, Wilhelm Krische, was commissioned to develop white school boards that could be wiped off but that would not burn. This owner of a factory that made history books experimented with  the milk Protein casein and  formaldehyde and patented one of the first plastics - The "Milk Stone" or the Galalith. The milk stone could be cut, drilled, embossed and dyed producing gemstone imitations that looked strikingly real and was favoured by Coc chanel for her designs. Read more about this marvelous material at Ganoksin

 Known as“French Ivory” celluloid was invented in the late 19th century to make billiard balls, which were traditionally made of  ivory. Made using cellulose dinitrate blended with pigments, fillers, camphor and alcohol, celluloid is an extremely flammable substance,reported to emit fumes that can damage metal, specifically that used in jewelry and knife blades. Alexander Parkes is legally credited with inventing the process by which Celluloid is made and celluloid is still used to make guitar picks 
30s celluloid necklace 
30s celluloid necklace from

Thus we come to the end of my list but there are many more vintage and new age plastics that can be molded, dyed, cut or textured to create beautiful pieces. So tell me, do you use plastic in your work? If not, has this article changed your mind about considering it?

I hope you found it interesting 
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Wrap, Stitch, Fold & Rivet - Book Review

 After the review of Fabulous Woven Jewelry: Plaiting, Coiling, Knotting, Looping & Twining with Fiber & Metal by Mary Hettmansperger, I wanted to bring you the Review of another Fabulous book by her - Wrap, Stitch, Fold & Rivet. This time I bring you a structured (and honest) review that will answer the main questions that you might have about this book

Book Details:
Title: Wrap, Stitch, Fold and Rivet: Making Designer Metal Jewelry
Author:Mary Hettmansperger
Publisher: Sterling (31 July 2008)

Bead Shelf Necklace
  What is this Book about?
This book is about a free spirited approach to metal jewelry making and relies on cold connection techniques - i.e Riveting, using nuts, screws, weaving, wrapping to create jewelry. It includes techniques from basketry, textile weaving, smithy with some wire work thrown in.

woven windows pin
woven windows pin
 Who is this book for?
This book is for a metal work beginner who has lots of experience in making jewelry. It is meant for those who prefer a bohemian- artsy style of design rather than the clean, minimal and traditional finishes achieved by soldering. this is also great for people who dont want to get into soldering yet or for those who want to add other techniques to their repertoire. I really wish I had seen this book when I was beginning to experiment with metal 3 years back; it wouldnt have taken me so much time to get to where I am now.

Wrapped Beads Necklace

 What type of projects can I find?
Metal and wire projects based on the following techniques - Wraps and folds, Commercially available cold connections, wire work and stitching. The designs are not pretty or beautiful per say but they are very rustic and often contemporary - something that you would see in a Modern gallery rather than in traditional/classical setting. However these are worth having a look at as the techniques are new and interesting and will change the way how you look at metal jewelry. Most of the projects are easy and will take between 15 mins to 1 day depending on your skill level. Though they say "cold connection" A torch is used in almost all projects to anneal the metal; If you dont have a torch use your gas stove to anneal the metal.

 Book Sections - What all does this book contain? 
Materials , components and tools Introduction

Basic Wire Work techniques & Cold connection Techniques

  Basic Metal work Techniques
The gallery section includes a good range of work by various designers. These designs look fabulous, however they are complex compared to the projects in the book and dont come with instructions. I rarely read project instructions and prefer to go by the images so these are good for me. But for a book that claims to offer "cold connection solutions", most designs in the gallery are soldered!
My Favourite projects - Bead shelf necklace, Wrapped Beads Necklace and Looped silver cone necklace
Where can I buy it?; Amazon India and Flipkart (currently out of stock) 

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Coping with pain

Welcome to the second post in my Pain series. In my first, introductory post on pain I talked about what is pain and how different people react differently to pain. In this second post on pain, I want to talk about the most important aspect of pain - that is coping with pain. We saw that pain (physical) can be momentary, acute or chronic maybe even acute-chronic but regardless of the time of pain, we still have to manage it, endure it and cope with it. 

The society in which we live, often asks us to "Grin and bear it". We have long been told that bearing pain has fruitful benefits - "No pain, No gain". Some have even gone as far to suggest that bearing pain cleanses one of one's sins and delivers them to paradise after their life on earth. Some believe that bearing pain in this life can give one a happier life in the next birth and the reason that we have a painful life in this birth is due to the sins committed by us in the previous birth. I don't want to get into the technicalities of Karma or Moksha or the concept of heaven and hell as for me nothing is worth the unbearable physical pain and the mental agony that comes with it for no fault of ours. Still we have to cope with it.

How to manage pain?

Doctors will say that a combination of medicines (painkillers) and exercises will help you manage pain and that you'll have to mentally condition yourself or be prepared for it by taking precautionary measures. These things do help to an extent for a limited time, but then, What about the depression caused by having to bear enormous amounts of pain? What about the constant rejection, ridicule or worse pity from ones around us? This forces many into the doom of addiction, self hate and eventually more pain like a never ending cycle. As a teacher, I see many students go through this and it makes me sad, angry and frustrated at the same time.If only there were ways to cope with pain!   

 Different people deal with pain differently, I tend to craft, paint or make jewelry when I am in pain. Sometimes I write - type in a document - read through it and delete it. Sometime I cry or I scold myself, I scream at furniture just because they wont scream back. But mostly,  I fantasize - A world where there is no pain, one where I dont fear it or where I am not ridiculed but truly loved for/inspite of it. Am I nuts for doing all this? Maybe a little, but in my mind it is better than being hopped up on pain meds, avoiding the issue or doing something self destructive.


Understanding and accepting the issue is the only way to deal with it; but getting there takes time and loads of patience. To help us get there, without shock and/or chronic depression our body and our mind (instinctively) bring across "Coping mechanisms". These are tools that we employ to rationalise or stop feeling what we are feeling or to help us manage that feeling. It can be used to cope with pain, loss, death, depression or any type of disappointment. These generally fall into 7-8 categories

How to Cope with pain 
+ Adaptive Mechanisms: we try and adapt by getting positive help - Therapy, yoga, hobbies and getting positively motivated by negatives
 + Attack Mechanism:we try and blame someone else for our pain
 + Avoidance Mechanisms: Avoid the issue. the classic "Its nothing, I am fine!"
 + Behavioral Mechanisms: misbehaving, behaving like a child, crying, screaming, acting like someone else, obsessing about it, becoming a workaholic to forget problems
+ Cognitive Mechanisms: escaping reality into a world of possibility, fantasizing, avoiding emotion and focusing on logic, convincing yourself that it is for your own good, studying and learning more about it
 + Conversion Mechanisms: change one thing into another - altruism, creating art with pain, writing about it
 + Defense Mechanisms: Denial, displacement, intellectualisation,  projection, rationalisation, reaction formation, regression, repression and sublimation(Freud's EGO)
 + Self-harm Mechanisms: Turning to Vices that hurt us - smoking, drinking, gambling, drugs, lies, recklessness, disloyalty, cowardice, envy, excessive eating, excessive shopping or spending, etc
There is no 'One size fits all' remedy here but yes, Coping mechanisms do help particularly if they are aided by love and support of friends and family. Follow the positive ones and ignore the negative harming mechanisms and avoid overdoing any of them in any case. When in doubt contact a medical practitioner or a therapist who understands you and your body well.. 
Now, I want you, my readers to tell me, how do you cope with pain in your life? Do you follow any of these mechanisms and do you prefer one over the other? I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

Other Posts in this series:
What is Pain?

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Craft - The 21st century industry

No comments:
Its been a while since I posted a research  article or an editorial post on this blog, so here is one on "How Craft has become an important 21st century industry"
 - In this modern era where everything is mechanized, we, as a society of consumers and creators are fast seen placing a great value on handmade, original and one of kind goods. Post the great recession of 2008, there has been a new wave in the economy with ‘craft’ as a forerunner. This new economy is dominated by an artistic lifestyle that stems from a need for self expression, networking, socio – economical independence and finally fame. 

Indian Craft - The 21st century industry

People are increasingly buying glo-cal, supporting artists all over the world, consuming consciously and taking the time to acknowledge that real things are made by real people in the real world. Craft is officially cool and not something restricted to traditional artisans or grandmothers. Farmers’ markets are “in” with designers and artists of high end merchandise opting to sell there in order to establish a direct connect with their local audience as opposed to doing gallery shows.

Being Crafty Virtually
Post 2012, the craft movement, carefully supported by the design and IT industry has become virtual for a more effective reach. Burgeoning craft marketplaces like Etsy where people sell not just goods but their manufacturing methods and process as tutorials are creating educational pedagogies that are craft specific, focused and more affordable. This has compelled educationists to reevaluate education, with focus on providing craft intrinsic creativity oriented training.
With relationships mushrooming virtually through social networking sites, it is only natural that Social media now has become an e-commerce channel providing direct and indirect leads to artists and normal business owners who otherwise have to depend on brick and mortar stores or distributors for their sustenance. 

Surveying the changing nature of the craft and design marketplace in this digital age when a store is a just a Facebook page and shopping is a virtual-social experience that can be shared with others at the click of the button, it is apparent that Social media has transmutated the way, business is being transacted. Having to pay, almost nothing for selling (online) to a wide audience has led to a plethora of normal or home based craft business opening up and competing with big commercial brands in a way that was considered improbable until a few years back. This has revolutionized the way how items are designed, made, stored, sold and even used. 
Indian handicrafts

So what does this mean for the design community?   
With craft becoming the proverbial golden goose that takes away ambiguous futures and aids self-sustenance, we are looking at opportunities bringing in liberation, strength and empowerment. Collaborations will be the order of the day with cross pollination of ideas at the epicenter of this movement. To keep up with this wave, Design education, will have to become more fluid, flexible and current. Educationists will have to practice several crafts and crafters must instruct if we want to sustain this phenomenon, this craft renaissance of sorts’ or else it will be just another fad that fades into the backgrounds as the cycle passes.  
Craft, presents us with a pathway, a bridge that connects our glorious pasts with our uncertain futures; furbishing a route for going back to our roots to reclaim our identities. It is up to us to strengthen, sustain and build on it.

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Paprika - paper jewelry collection

In continuation from my last post on Paprika - a line of one of a kind spicy paper jewelry, here is the second post on short and long necklaces from the line.

To Recap What is Paprika?
 A collection of necklace - earring sets in gorgeous color combinations with unique textured paper focals, that will make you wonder - is this really paper?
 I went a very "Indian route" as I was experimenting with the technique and didnt know if it will work. I am glad it did.
Inspired by paprika a very popular chilli like spice, This collection intends to add a dose of fun to your wardrobe. Indian Contemporary designs like you have never seen before.
A little Sugar, Spice and everything that is nice, Just for you!!

Paprika - Necklace & Earrings Sets
Solar flare necklace - textured double sided paper pendant with a stone focal that’s strung with colored glass pearls and beads.It was hard to believe that such a traditional Indian looking necklace along with the Fret necklace below was snapped up by a couple of Korean expats as I was setting up my table at a local craft fair.
indian paper necklace

Here is the blingy blue version of the same necklace customised for a client - The photograph unfortunately doesnt show how shiny the piece is!
paper necklace

Fret necklace - Textured silver, green and purple square paper and foil pendant with green and blue glass and ceramic beads inspired by the Greek Fret symbol. Comes with Green, blue and purple earrings
spiral paper necklace

Cinnamon - As this is a "spicy line" the original idea was to be inspired by different spices. But I did only a couple before I moved on because an eclectic collection such as this one called for various inspirational sources. This necklace contains a Cinnamon inspired paper foil pendant with altered green glass bead drop wire wrapped onto a necklace of copper wire coils and hot pink rubbery beads. Imagine this necklace on a black dress or a pale green saree - Yum!!

rubber wire paper necklace

Foiled Leaf - Pink, beige and gold glass bead necklace with a textured silver, peach and gold leaf shaped paper and foil pendant inspired by "Bay Leaves"
leaf paper necklace

Flower Power necklace -  knotted glass necklace with a textured pink-orange flower shaped paper and foil pendant. The center is embellished by rows of rhinestone - pearl stone chains and pearls

 floral paper necklace

Neon Spice -  Textured double sided paper pendant with a pearl chain border and green glass stone drop knotted together with green and hot pink rubbery beads.

neon paper necklace

Rajputani necklace - meenakari inspired paper and resin focal with a necklace of enamelled components, jasper and glass beads. Comes with earrings
meenakari paper necklace

Twin leaf necklace - For sale
textured double paper pendant with twin embossed foil leaves strung together with ceramic, glass and wooden beads in myrid shades of purple, green and silver.

paper necklace

My precious necklace - for Sale
Pink, copper and gold glass bead necklace with a double layered textured silver and gold layered paper and foil pendant with a pink glass stone focal. Comes with crystal earrings

traditional paper necklace 

Thus we come the end of Paprika SS15 line. This was a very intriguing and experimental technique requiring very simple supplies yet lots of time and patience. Each necklace took about atleast 3-4 days!! But considering that it has been well received and it has more scope for innovation, I think I might revisit it again soon. What do you think about that?
I hope you found it interesting
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