Indian jewelry isn’t just about heavy gold work interspersed with gemstones and beads, its a lot more than that. Whilst people assume that that costume jewelry is a western invention, it actually was predominant in the East before it ever went to west. From the ancient times, Indian glass beads, our flower jewelry, fabric accessories and other costume jewelry have been popular, with handmade being given a lot of importance.
Unfortunately, like many other things, these practices got lost and now it is becoming increasingly difficult to find first quality Indian made supplies in India with everything going abroad for export. Between this and excessive dumping of Chinese products a lot of Karigars (artisans) suffered. Designers slowly started to only sketch leaving the rest to the artisans inorder to encourage them creating an absence of designers who are also artists.
The Indian jewelry scene is thankfully changing now, with many designers crafting fabulous handmade products themselves as we have been seeing in the previous Lets meet Features. This month’s Let Meet is a small attempt to showcase some handcrafted Indian brands and their products.
Handmade Contemporary Indian Jewelry
Gold gone Lightweight
India is a diverse country with people preferring very different jewelry, even when united by their love of gold. North Indians prefer heavy chunky gold while in the south we prefer lightweight stuff. So the Perfect Indian necklace would be the combination of the two – A lightweight choker or Guluband. Christalina’s gold choker is a perfect example of this. Created with Chunky Gold yarn and littlepink beads, it is indeed Timeless, just like her brand name Timeless creations
India is very famous for silver jewelry, particularly oxidised silver jewelry that include motifs or forms of Indian Gods and Goddess. Taking cue from this Ramya Mani, a Tamil gal from Chicago created Argentum – collection of silvery pieces using clay. Here she pays obeisance to Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi. Take a look at ManiMade here
A Fashion Seed
I met the good folks from Jungle Jewels (from home town Trichy) during Abhushan in 2011 and I was smitten by the delicate jewelry made using seeds and grains. The say that in the bygone era, wild seeds were worn (particularly by royalty) to express wealth, feelings and status. They are a sustainable and fair trade business, who train and promote women artisans offering them insurance as well- something that is so rare here. Arent these paddy earrings just gorgeous??
On the topic of seeds, did you know that jewelry could be made from seed wings too? Here is a Pendant made out from Mahogany seed wing, by Jyothi of Innate Designs. She has ornamented the pendant with the cutout of the same possessing a classic design of dried leaves and lucky red seed. Very Interesting right?
The omnipresent Jhumka
Cut out for it
His Paper Cut artworks are all hand sketched and hand cut individually. His 500 rupee note cut work is an absolute wonder. He is one artist whose work I really want to own and I was really waiting for him to start making jewelry so that I could feature him here 😀 An Indian Version of state pendants – Here Globe and Tamil Nadu (my state) paper silhouettes rest in their silver pendants sandwiched between two micro thin glasses. Papercut by Parth Kothekar – Drool Worthy Paper art!!
Aren’t all these pieces fabulous?? I am really happy that the Indian Handmade jewelry scene is stronger than ever and with Sayuri, I have been able to contribute to it. So What do you think of these artists and their works?
PS: As I was writing this post I realised that they are so many artists who make kitschy quirky jewelry that it warrants a full post. Will be back with it soon!!
Hope you find it Interesting