fused fine silver jewelry

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lshu Datwani, proprietor of Anmol Jewellers focussed his attention on Bidri and Bamboo collections. The reasons he signed up for this project were manifold, First, it enabled us to contribute to the livelihoods of talented craftsmen from different parts of India: second, it allowed us to take a fresh approach to the art of jewellery making, The idea of bringing together two different disciplines gave us a chance to push the designing capabilities beyond the usual and introduce innovative products that would be more socially responsible: the jewels would also work as our artistic ambassadors of Indian culture. The crafts are a labour of love. and breathtakingly beautiful, and we believe it's high time that the untapped potential of our talented craftsmen from the rural hinterland should be recognised and given the much-deserved attention.

Anmol Jewellers chose to work with Bidri and Bamboo purely from the perspective of the potential these two crafts offered in terms of lending novelty to its creations. Datwani says, "Bamboo is extremely light, and has a gold-like sheen; its character and texture blends beautifully with gold, and provides us a number of structural possibilities in terms of design. On the other hand, Bidri work offers contrasting colours and work with a plethora o f intricate patterns that help us weave stories around our creations. We understood that the more challenging the crafts, more would be our learning and the end result would be more satisfying."

Did it pose any major challenges to meld the two crafts with high-end precious jewellery material? "It was more challenging than anticipated," Datwani reveals. "To get our ideas across to the craftsmen and push them to do something different than what they have been doing for years has been a huge learning for us. It also posed as a major roadblock. Incorporating Bidri and Bamboo in jewellery and lending it an artistic feel, required imagination and innovation on our part. Sometimes, our ideas turned out to be more ambitious than what could be achieved in terms of execution with these crafts. Quality finish is most important to jewellery, and that has been a priority. A lot of trials helped us achieve perfection in this regard."

Anmol hired a designer with a strong background in designing high-end and experimental jewellery, who worked with the jeweller's in-house production and design team to create around 15 pieces that took six months from conceptualisation to its execution.

The technical expertise provided by Parag Vyas gave us optimal solutions in bringing our designs
to life, says Datwani. 'Assessing strength and durability of Bamboo were our biggest concerns. And for Bidri, the weight of the components itself, and reaction to skin were our areas of doubt and concern. Also, introducing colour to Bamboo, added a whole new dimension to the craft. The biggest contribution by Vyas was in helping us blend Bidri with gold, using minimum gold as support in terms of weight' Datwani is quite happy with the results. "Starting with a small collection, we now have a much better understanding of the possibilities, and we hope to make this a regular practise at Anmol. The learning has been immense and the perseverance has definitely paid offwhen we look at the final product"

  What is the future of these crafts?

Will the Craft to Jewellery be a one-off project that will be forgotten in time? "The potential to marry precious and non-precious materials is exciting. Though the fusion isn't very easy to achieve, the end product is something that will bring about a much awaited revolution both in the lives of the craftsmen and the definition of precious jewellery as well," Datwani says.

"One needs planning and perseverance to execute the ideas. A distinct, extraordinary visual language has been created for precious jewellery which cannot go unnoticed without creating ripples."

When asked if he was confident about his consumers picking out these pieces off the shelves, Datwani says, "I have been very confident since the beginning of
the project. I believe if the finish is good, innovative ideas will always find a good number of buyers in the market. We need to continuously challenge ourselves to bring something fresh and exciting for our consumers.

"Projects like these are very important for our industry, if we want to take innovation and growth seriously. As the ambassadors of this industry, we should be open-minded to support such novel initiatives.

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