Peakok Jewellery Bangalore

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60s jewellery in India ,latest techniques in jewellery making

Two dynamic personalities, who were at the helm of affairs, were Hemant Shah and Mahesh Rao, both members of the GJEPC committee. They spoke about the reasons why the Craft to Jewellery programme was conceived and what the role of GJEPC was in bringing it to fruition.

In a preamble to the reason why this programme was conceived, Mahesh Rao, director of Peakok Jewellery, Bangalore says, "Jewellery has always been close to our hearts, culture and religion. It is part of our DNA." Rao also said that it was the changing socio-cultural aspects that led to this programme. "Till the 60s jewellery in India was treated differently. Jewellery was a mix of culturally-driven designs that reflected traditional values and influence of the ecosystem. The 1990s was the time which ushered in liberalisation. Indians began to travel, and they were soon part of the global village.

Philosophies and outlooks changed, latest techniques in jewellery-making paved the way for jewellery that was more modern and bracketed in the daily wear category. Jewellery was made to slowly suit the multifaceted Indian woman who wore jewellery depicting traditional motifs on a Monday morning, but wanted something more funky and fun on a Friday evening. We couldn't have asked for a better scenario than this.

"But gradually handicrafts used earlier for making regionally relevant jewellery started getting relegated into the recesses of the past. They became obsolete and outdated. With the revival of Brand India, the GJEPC needed to take a new direction, and bring back the crafts that had the essence of Indianness. At the same time, these crafts had to be included in modern formats to make it relevant to today's consumer, without compromising on the basic grammar of the craft. We had to raise these crafts to adornment level."

Much ahead of his time, Hemant Shah, in his personal capacity, had been working on the very same line of thought since the past four and a half years. His focus was on Dokra, and he launched the Dokra collection some three years ago.

Shah says, "The industry needs innovation and "really new" products that will excite consumers. To do that the industry needs to offer pathbreaking products, technology, services, to the consumer to get them to have jewellery as a top-of-list product. A request from the World Craft Council to support them for "Abhushan" became the catalyst for the project. The GJEPC agreed to support and sponsor the event. But we just did not want it to be a singular event. Hence, we planned workshops at the event and identified four crafts which were taken up for the Craft to Jewellery programme."

On completion of the programme, though, the GJEPC saw an opportunity and potential to translate this programme into commercial success. That is when the three retailers were signed on, Shah informs.

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