Italian art meets Indian craftsmanship – The New Indian Express

Express news service

Indian women have a long and complex relationship with jewelry, dating back to Mohenjo Daro. Traditionally, jewelry has been part of the stree-dhan concept, but its appeal is more than just legal jargon. India excels in jewelry craftsmanship, but craftsmanship has traditionally been a male domain. Mumbai-based Shachee Shah turned that upside down by working her own hands on the bench. Not only that. She brought the ancient tradition of micro mosaic to India, which originated in Italy as souvenirs that travelers brought back, but which is now almost lost in Europe.

Shah started his journey wanting to study fashion, but discovered the micro mosaic during a trip to Italy. She realized that it would be unique in India and decided to train in an Italian institute, learn to work with tools in a traditional way and do research on design and history in museums and Vatican workshops in Ravenna.

His intense study led to his brand of micro mosaic jewelry, of Italian design but with an Indian heart and Indian motifs. She calls it the Garden of Happiness, with nature as the main inspiration. Shah believes that nature has a silent voice that speaks volumes for those who want to listen and that her jewels are the little beauties that speak that voice. Art, history, wildlife and vintage objects are his other inspirations.

The raw material of mosaic jewelry consists of tiny rods of gold and Venetian glass enamel, which are formed by mixing different colors (called Smalto). These are pulled into threads at a temperature of 1200 degrees and then left to cool. The process is highly skilled and takes time. Each of these strands of glass (tessera) is cut into microns and arranged together to create a pattern. Shah creates the pattern with the naked eye. Because each piece is entirely handcrafted, it is unique and irreplaceable. All the gold used is 18k and the glow comes from natural diamonds and gemstones.

Shah’s other line of jewelry looks so much like lace you’d forgive you for trying to tie it to your handkerchief. It’s his invention: 18k gold threads woven into intricate lace-like patterns, an ethereal piece of jewelry worn on the ear or on the wrist. She called it the Venetian collection.

When Shah started her line, she worked on every piece herself, from the block of gold to the finished piece. Now, with high demand, it has added helping hands to its production process, but every part still carries
its manual labor in its manufacturing process.

Shah’s muse is the woman who believes in herself and merges her style with history, emotion and character. This woman knows she can. So is Shah herself, who broke into the male-dominated field of metallurgy, which is seen as physical punishment.

Because the jewelry is completely handcrafted and takes time to produce, Shah prefers to work through personal appointments in his studio and through exhibitions in shops and galleries. She also has an overseas market, with women in the United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, and the United States eager to wear her jewelry. All of this is expected to expand over the next few years. The most exciting? She will introduce a new jewelry technique by the end of 2021. We can’t wait.

The raw material of mosaic jewelry consists of tiny rods of gold and Venetian glass enamel, which are formed by mixing different colors

About Glenn Gosselin

Glenn Gosselin

Check Also

George Mason University: Peter Stearns Receives American Historical Association Recognition for Distinguished Fellowship Life

November 18, 2021 Peter Stearns, university professor of history and dean emeritus at George Mason …