Thursday, May 28, 2009

Stone Jewellery

Crafted artistically out of stone, jewelry brings about a touch of ethnicity and glamour to the wearer. Adept craftsmen have been creating artistic jewelry pieces that have found acceptance worldwide. Each jewelry piece is meticulously carved and embedded with semi precious stones for an enhanced look. They are available in a wide variety of sizes and styles and can also be custom-designed to meet specific requirements.

Stone is embellished with beautiful designs made by using several techniques. Inlay work, carving etc are used to add value to the stone fashion jewelry items. The handcrafted fashion jewelry designs are originally created using various precious and semi precious stones and then individually assembled. There are 84 varieties of stones including 9 precious and 75 semi-precious varieties.

Ivory Jewellery

Ivory undergo ultraviolet analysis. Mammoth ivory, unlike elephant ivory, can display intrusive brown or blue-green coloured blemishes caused by an iron phosphate, viviante, which shows a spectacular performance under ultra violet light. Ancient ivory acquires unique and beautiful colourations of golden and chocolate browns, orange and occasionally pink, blue and green. The pleasing colour is due to minerals in the soil absorbing into the ivory, which has been buried for thousands of years. Quantities of this rare and exceptional material are extremely limited.

Rice Jewellery

nnovation can never be restricted by any means and rules. It walks hand in hands with change. This has been proved by introduction of jewelleries made of rice. The rice is intricately woven in strings to form beautiful pieces of art. Rice Jewelry can be personalized, any name or saying of your choice up to limited letters can be hand written on a single grain of rice, free hand with bare eyes. The writing can be clearly read just like reading a book, in the magnifying miniature glass bottle charms. The rice and the writings will last a lifetime in clear or colored transparent oil preserves. What is written on the grain of rice is meant to bring you good luck and keep you away from danger and harm which is an ancient Turkish tradition and belief.

Tribal Jewellery

In ancient times people made jewellery out of natural materials like seeds, feathers, leaves, berries, fruits, flowers, animal bones, claws and teeth. A glimpse of this tradition can still be seen in the tribal societies. In India, the ornaments are made practically for every part of the body. The early people made jewellery not only for humans but also for the gods and decorating animals like elephants and horses, on special occasions. Tribal Jewellery concentrates on the gold jewellery of the Indian subcontinent, which is worn by preference by everyone who can afford it. Only where there is a religious prohibition against the wearing of gold ornaments, notably on the feet, is silver substituted instead of the gold.

Passing fashion seems not to have altered the pre-eminence of gold over the centuries; gold ornaments may be more heavily jeweled or less, but the use of gold, apart from the short-lived vogue for platinum in the 1920`s, has been constant. However, there are, of course, millions who cannot afford gold. Yet, wearing jewellery in any form, be it in gold or otherwise, clearly indicates the importance of the same. Lack of precious materials has never inhibited the wearing of jewellery and even poverty and lack of technical skill has not prevented the creation of innovative and striking forms.

A small group of tribal jewellery from the Naga Hills, which is the area of Eastern Assam bordering Burma, has, for an unknown period of time, given a lot of importance to their personal jewellery. Despite having scanty clothing, they are seen adoring themselves, from warrior headdresses to flower jewellery. The materials used for their jewellery are necessarily simple, since they cannot afford gold and hence they use carnelian, rock crystal, shells, beads, flowers, blue jay feathers and animal hair dyed red. Some ornaments are made from heavily cast brass and may serve a dual function; if need be they can be slipped off the arm to become formidable weapons.

In terms of colour, perhaps the most beautiful piece of `jewellery` is the beetle necklace, which was worn by a young man of the Zemi Naga tribe. The brass armlets, which were worn by women of different tribes are roughly cast and crudely incised but are strikingly imaginative both in their abstraction and in the way in which they would have been worn, with the recurring ends pointing backwards.

However, certain ornaments are worn only by particular sections of a given tribe. Among the Eastern Rengami Nagas, for instance, only the men wear flowers in their ears, red being the favourite colour. The Angami Naga men wear green fern or other foliage in their hair knots. The Nagas were headhunters, and both the ritual of a particular group and the ornaments worn by men who had taken heads are intimately connected with this. Only a headhunter, for instance, would have worn the necklet and the swirling, incised motifs on some of the brass armlets are also those permitted only on head- hunters` jewellery.

The Muslim fakir comes from a tradition in which he uses ornaments again of the poorest type but in a way, which is not concerned with beauty of effect. All his possessions include the coins and cowrie shells worn in his hair, to the metal crutch on which he leans in meditation. The heavy, cast metal bangles are the identifying mark of his sect.

Back line Jewellery

Since its introduction Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) has become widely used to deposit wear resistant, thin film coatings onto medical devices. The main value in PVD technology rests in the ability to modify the surface properties of a device without changing the underlying materials properties and biomechanical functionality. Wildcat is now using this advanced technology as a surface enhancement on medical grade titanium jewellery.

The surface coating is tremendously adhesive to the substrate, is conformal and pinhole free, is an excellent permeation barrier, and is sterile on preparation. Without exception it has been confirmed the appropriateness of the special formula and its specific surface treatment for body piercing jewellery.

Wildcat Blackline body jewellery exists in a class of its own. All Blackline body Jewellery involves the PVD coating applied to a G23 medical titanium substrate, the adhesion is tremendous. Blackline body jewellery also possesses an extremely low coefficient of friction and a micro smoothed surface texture. Blackline is further resistant to autoclave-induced corrosion, and is compatible with steam and chemical sterilization treatments.

Plastic Jewellery

Being real attention grabbers, the jewelry items made of plastic are very stylish accessories. Owing to its easy availability, various craftsmen and manufacturers to churn out an enthralling range of fashion jewelry are experimenting with, plastic. The plastic jewelry items are symbols of artistic finesse of dexterous craftsmen and are made in accordance with contemporary as well as modern tastes in mind. They can be custom designed to meet specific demands of individual buyers as well.

A range of designs is made over exquisite fashion jewelry to impart different look to the pieces. The manufacturers have been introducing different designs to match the tastes of the customers and ongoing trends worldwide. Available in the form of beads and chatons, plastic also has a special variety called the AB Plastic that can be plated.

Why people prefer to buy coloured gemstones?

Each person has his or her own reason for wanting to buy, own or wear a colored gemstone. There are, however, several basic and valid reasons that make gemstones desirable possessions:

Gemstones are primarily beautiful. Every stone is a natural work of art, each one having a distinct and separate personality and possessing unique and distinguishing beauty marks.
Gemstones are generally durable. Gemstones can last for generations and, in some cases, for centuries. The treasures of King Tut prove that gemstones carry on through many lifetimes.

Gemstones are rare. While it is true that there are new sources of gemstones, todays economy has brought higher disposable incomes to more people than ever before. As the demand for gemstones is greater, the supply has become inadequate in its ability to meet this demand.

The north, south, east and west of gold

The north, south, east and west of gold...styles in gold jewellery designs seen across India.

Jewellery in India has drawn upon the numerous facets of its people, and has in turn been inspiration and solace to both wearer and beholder. Sculptors and painters disobeyed boundaries between the real, the ideal and the imaginary, generously beautifying their images with ornaments. To the many classical writers, gold was a source of charming visual images. Rulers used jewels as statements of power and prestige. But to the Indian woman particularly, gold holds special significance to her life. It is far more than the ultimate enhancer of beauty, it is that precious thing which stays and grows with her though the different stages in life, as daughter, wife, mother, and in her personal growth as a woman.

The Indian woman has always been very creative in her expression of jewellery and design. In keeping with Indias rich tradition of diversity, jewellery also takes on regional nuances. It is the ultimate and most-personal expression of region specific culture and art, of lifestyles and heritage. It draws inspiration from architecture, dance and even religious customs.

Northern India:
Women in north India are known for their love for exquisite jewellery and also for being experimental and flamboyant with their jewellery.

Given the trend of pretentious and bold displays that is the trademark for most of northern India, chunkier the jewellery, the better, making traditional gold a persistent favourite among women in the north.

The mangalsutra has been revived as a fashion statement. Considered a sacred ornament of marriage, designs and style are evolving and becoming trendier. Women in the North are experimenting with antique finishes and embellishments to make the sacred mangalsutra a truly personal demonstration of their style.

Southern India:
The latest jewellery trends in southern India vary quite distinctly from the north. Gold jewellery is worn, flaunted and enjoyed, even when the occasion does not call for elaborate accessories. Body jewellery is also becoming very popular. It could range from a scarf made out of gold, an intricate sheath of gold that can be used as a belt or even long hoops worn around the arm.

The arrival of antiques: A huge trend in the south now is toward antique ornate jewellery. The traditional Kasu-malai, the chain comprised of coins flowing from neck to waist, is still very popular in the south, and remains a traditional symbol of status and wealth.

Designs have now come full circle, from the traditional floral patterns, glittering stars, swans and lotus patterns, which are old favorites; geometrical designs, intricate filigree and large abstracts are also gaining favour. The traditional Mullai Mottu Malai necklace, which has replicas of jasmine buds all around it, is an example of this old and new fusion. It remains both seeped heavily in traditional sentiments but using contemporary aesthetics in its design and production.

Eastern India:
Bengal still revels in the craftsmanship of its exquisite handcrafted jewellery. The two essential parts of gold forms in Bengal are wire-work and filigree, neither of which can be done by machine. The art of wire-work is said to be over five hundred years old, as is filigree. Floral, leafy or even abstract motifs are created with the malleable, ductile gold wire. In the Bengal gharana, flowers are inspired from Dopati and Kolke. There is also a hint of religion with the Kolke being blessed by Lord Shiva. The Takashi or filigree work of Maukhali of West Bengal depicts a strong Persian influence, probably because it was handed down from the Mughals.

A wonderful example of eastern Indian jewellery is in Bollywoods blockbuster Devdas. Both ostentatious and resplendent, the film captures the antique gold jewellery look of the time. Highly ornate work with impeccable handcrafting techniques is the trademark of jewellery from this region.

Kolkata women still love their heavy gold jewellery in spite of the new contemporary designs, which are also gaining popularity. So the traditional Chik (choker), Chur (heavy broad bangles held together with bars, or the Ratanchur (bangle connected with the fingers with chains) still reign supreme.

Western India:
What makes jewellery in Western India so unique is its diversity. Jewellery from Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat are markedly different from each other, but share their preference for using gold as the base metal.

Rajasthan: Jewellery from this arid desert region is an amalgam of traditional Rajasthani craftsmanship and the influx of Mughal culture, which brought in sophisticated know-how to the art of jewellery manufacturing.

Rajasthani jewellery includes the traditional bindi, which is worn in the center parting of the hair. Flower shape pins and hair combs are a strong part of traditional jewellery in Rajasthan. Earrings include a variety of jhumkas, and bangles are thick gold bands called kadas with the two end carved to resemble elephant of peacock heads.

Gujarat: Perhaps the most distinctive item of jewellery in Gujarat is the disc earrings worn by Kutchi women that stretch the ear almost to tearing point. In Gujarat, there are ornaments for practically every part of the body - necklaces, earrings, nose-rings, hair ornaments, bracelets, bangles, amulets, waistbands, anklets, finger and toe rings. Also back in style is Pachikam jewellery, which is traditional to the Kutch region. Pachikam is very delicate jewellery, and much more refined than Kundan.

Designs remain nature-inspire, as it is considered fortunate to wear these types of designs.

Maharashtra: Maharashtrian jewellery has its most distinctive feature in the Nath (an emblem of marital felicity) or nose-ring in a paisley shape. The traditional heritage from the Marathas and the Peshwas still reign in the traditional jewellery influences.

Most jewellery is crafted from with excellent workmanship and delicate embossing work. And traditional necklaces are back in vogue; the Hars, Mohanmalas, and the gold-beaded Tushi have now become fashionably popular for the festive season.

Contemporary Jewellery
The Indian womans love affair with jewellery does not end with India and traditional jewellery. An forthcoming trend seen especially in the metros has been women drawing towards contemporary jewellery. These are young, fashion-conscious women who desire smart jewellery that can be accessorized with their wardrobe.

Source and Inspirations

Design is extremely influenced by source of inspiration. Comprehending new shapes, forms, structure, figure, etc needs a high degree of observation, imagination, analysis & recollecting power, what we see, feel, hear greatly influences are creativity & expression. By and large, the visual information obtained influences a design the most. This is why many designs maintain a sketchbook to note visual observation.

The major design sources are-
Material Used:
Functioning with different materials gives you different experiences, a opportunity to discover something new through permutations & combinations & this may be the initial stage of a design, for example wax modeling, playing around with jewelers wax.

History & Art Eras:
History has witnessed magnificent art eras like Medieval, Egyptian, Baroque, Art Nouvean, Art Deco, etc that are rich in expression & inspiration. An artists mind can sketch brilliant ideas from their style of jewelry architecture, paintings, sculpture, textile patterns, calligraphy & other artifacts. Fusion of conservative & contemporary ideas & re-interpretation of ancient art forms can give birth to a new & original style.

Nature is an endless ocean of ideas. The different forms shapes, texture colour & varieties of flowers; animals, insects, birds, trees & other forms of life are an inexhaustible source of creative ideas. Observation & expression influenced by nature can upshot in fascinating new forms & ideas.

Symbolic Sources:
The Zodiac signs, organizational signs & symbols, occupational symbols, monograms & logos, fraternal good source of design & inspiration. The blend & use of different shapes & styles help us visualize new combination and composition.

Themes & Concepts:
If a designer thinks with an open mind he can comprehend a deep concept or theme in every art form and the same way he can integrate & express a variety of themes in his jewellery designs for instance nature, politics, social, religious, etc.

Magazines, Catalogues, Books, Photographs, visits to jewellery stores, exhibitions & museums are some other useful sources of information & inspiration but it is important to uphold your own style & originality.

Jewellery Designing as a Career

The growing market for branded ornaments has led to a demand for a new breed of jewelry designers and other professionals like gem appraisers. With several institutes offering specialized courses in this field, jewelry designing is no longer a family trade but a lucrative career option for first-generation gemologists who can cater to a niche market for custom-made and designer jewelry.

Jewellery designing has come out of the closet: It is no longer a cloistered trade carried out by semi-literate goldsmiths in family vaults, passed down like a well-kept secret from generation to generation. Instead, thanks to the advances in technology, it has landed on the drawing board with some firms even using computer-aided designs to create exquisite pieces in virtual reality.

Along with the technological finesse has come a paradigm shift: Jewellery is no longer purchased with only the intrinsic value of gold in mind. The working woman wants trendy and functional trinkets, which can be worn at office, at home and on outings. Says Manikchand, who has been associated with his family jewellery business for two decades, The needs of the working women have largely influenced the worldwide trend in jewellery. On the one hand, a working woman wants to make a fashion statement and, on the other hand, she wants trinkets for regular wear. That in turn has spawned a lifestyle industry and demand for jewellery designers.

There are several institutes offering long-term, short-term and distance learning courses in jewellery designing. Here, the students not only hone their designing skills, but also learn to use a jewelers tools and pick up rudimentary skills like casting, stone cutting, engraving and polishing. They also learn special skills like electroplating, metal colouring, anodising, enamelling, stone setting and silversmithing.

Says B.K. Narula, the man behind the Jewellery Design & Technology Institute, Noida, Despite the technological changes, I stay wedded to the belief that a good designer is one who grasps the fundamentals of manufacturing. Most designers begin their careers as apprentices in jewellery showrooms or in their family businesses; the duration of apprenticeship may depend on their line of specialisation and the nature of appointment. At the entry level, the apprentices are only designing products for the mass market but later they graduate to customised jewellery. Once they have evolved their inimitable style, some like Naina Balsavar Ahmed, former Miss Femina, start their own retail business. Naina, who often falls in love with most of her own creations, operates from an upmarket store in Delhi. Her pieces can cost anything between Rs 600 and a couple of lakhs.

Incidentally, design studios that specialise in custom-made jewellery are becoming increasingly popular.

Rheas Studio in Mumbai is one such place. It even issues a certificate of originality to the client to assure him that the design will not be repeated. Custom-made jewellery starts at Rs 2 lakh; so you can imagine the kind of money that is there in the profession. The demand for sleek and ready-to wear designer jewellery has, in turn, spurred the demand for cheaper alloys like platinum and gunmetal. Adds Manikchand: These days designers are even ready to experiment with paper, wood, ceramics and plastics. Given the endless possibilities, the designer must understand the metal that he is handling. He will also be immersed in a world full of gems, diamonds, rubies and sapphires, which he should be able to handle with acumen. The ability to identify and rate a good gem or a stone can throw up career option as an appraiser and help one in the retail business, if one is so inclined.

The Delhi-based National Institute of Fashion Technology, the Noida-based JDTI, the Mumbai-based Gemmological Institute of India, the Chennai-based Dr Dhamambal Government Polytechnic for Women and the Surat-based Diamond Institute of India are offering jewellery designing and allied courses.

The Gemological Institute, for instance, is also offering courses in pearl identification and stringing, jewellery casting, diamond grading and gemology. The Chennai-based polytechnic, which has executed a joint project with the World Gold Council, is offering courses in Gold smithing and stone setting. The Surat-based Indian Diamond Institute is conducting PG Diploma and certificate courses in diamonds, coloured gemstones and machine cast jewellery.

Most jewellery designing courses are of six month to two-year duration. The Noida-based JDTI, which plans to open a branch in Chandigarh by year-end, is offering a comprehensive jewellery designing course of six-month duration, basic jewellery designing for three months, a customised jewellery manufacturing course of six months, a gemology course of three months, a diamond grading course of 45 days, a Computer-Aided Designing course of one month, Casting and Stone Setting, Engraving and Enameling, Finishing, Polishing and Electroplating -- all courses of two-week duration.

The JDTI, which happens to be a division of Silver Smith India Ltd, is also offering an Industrial Jewellery Design Solutions certificate programme in Jewellery Retailing of 45 days. The institute also provides six to eight weeks internship to students enrolled in the two-year programme. The fee for a two-year course is Rs. 1.80 lakh and for the short-term courses between Rs. 10,000-15,000. Says Narula, "The JDTI educates and trains people in all aspects of jewellery designing and manufacturing. The underlying principle is: If you cant make jewellery, you cant design jewellery".

Most institutes, as a part of their curriculum, conduct special workshops for students inspired by traditional Indian and Western designs. Incidentally, the JDTI is one of the few institutes that provides gold to the students to create studded jewellery at its own cost. The institutes also "guide the students once they pass out". External jurors from the industry are invited to evaluate the work of the students enrolled in the long-term courses.

The facilities provided at the institutes are state-of-the-art and fully equipped with the latest reference material and machinery. The workstations are especially designed for fatigue-free long hours. The classrooms are specially constructed to provide relief from boredom. Those who have cleared their plus two are eligible to apply for jewellery designing courses. Admissions are on the basis of an interview. So, get set for a glittering career.

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