When you think of anything Indian, you think of colours. The culture is colourful, so is the food, the clothes and even the jewellery — Meenakari. While it is believed that this form originated somewhere in Persia and was later brought to India by the Mughals, it is the state of Rajashthan that has made it its own and evolved it to make even more beautiful with precision and creativity. The art of Meenakari is inspired by the royal aesthetics of Jaipur, the rich heritage and the awe-inspiring architecture.
Though the roots lie in the rich history of Rajasthan, J Singh Jewelers have reimagined this traditional craft to give it a modern twist. We speak to founders of the brand Jasmeet Singh Talwar and Parul Sharma about their designs.
“ Basically, Meenakari is an art that uses traditional colours like red, green and blue. These pieces look best with traditional attire, so as the dressing styles changed and women started wearing more Western and fusion outfits, they started losing interest in this jewellery. We didn’t want such a beautiful art of jewellery to just vanish, so we thought of modernising it by giving it a contemporary touch and using the colours that women love these days,” says Talwar.
The motifs that are used can be countless, which makes every piece unique. Talking about their collection, Sharma says it includes Indo western as well as traditional Indian jewellery designs to perfectly complement any of your outfit. “Whether it’s for bride or her best friend or her mother, or if you are attending a regular informal get together, we have curated a collection that will be loved by all. It’s completely different from the traditional jewellery as now we are using pastel shades for doing Meenakari on our pieces. We keep a look on what colours people, particularly women, are loving right now and what colours are going to be more popular in the coming months to design the collection,” says Sharma, adding, “And the best part is that we do customisations also to match your outfit.”
The makers have managed to maintain the modernity in the designs while being inspired by the architecture and heritage of Jaipur. “We are using the same old technique that was used many, many years ago for making the base pieces. The process involves engraving the outer surfaces with required designs and patterns. The framework is filled with cold lac that makes the jewellery unbreakable, which is again a modern touch. In the old times, the base was made with hot lac so jewellery used to break very easily. People still have a misconception that lac makes the jewellery break easily, but we are using a modern technique that won’t allow such breakage at all. The framework is covered with gold plated foil and then Meenakari work is done over that. The detailing of each jewellery takes about 7-10 days to make,” says Talwar, adding, “So we strive to keep the heritage alive while at the same time offer our customers a collection with a modern touch by using new colours and designing the pieces with the stones that are trending these days.”
The brand’s latest Meekari collection offers a wide range of accessories, from rings to necklaces at what they claim to be affordable rates.