A clutch of passionate designers are handcrafting distinctive jewellery. We tell you the story of their unique labels and the eco-conscious methods they have imbibed.
Absynthe Design by Abhisek Basak
Abhisek Basak is an autodidact when it comes to jewellery making. A fashion graduate from NIFT, Hyderabad, he gave up his process driven design industry and surrendered to the fun and spontaneity of a passion driven creative process. His love for handcrafting — which for him is therapeutic — veered him towards jewellery making.
Sustainability Quotient: Instead of new watch parts, he sources old, discarded components from across the world to create earrings, brooches, rings, cufflinks, lapel pins, tie pins and pendants.
Inspiration: A wandering soul, Abhisek feels inspiration finds its way to him. For him, it can be an insect, a piece of machinery, a forgotten object, a story, a fragrance, or an emotion.
Design & Crafting: He likes to keep the process very organic, creating design from chaos. The visualisation happens in his head. He sketches only when something is technically difficult to be figured out or some precise engineering is required.
The work, he says, is laborious and utterly unglamorous but addictive and exciting. It is extremely difficult to work with delicate watch parts, especially the ones that date back to 18th and 19th century. There are different techniques with which he works on and handles each individual part. The process begins with cleaning, grinding and polishing centuries-old parts that are considered junk by most. A lot goes into the restoration of it: melting, cutting, bending, shaping and welding. He has learnt to handle and preserve insects, clean and cast animal bones and skulls, dissect flowers, and carve wood. It takes him a few hours to a few days, sometimes a few weeks even to create just the one piece. Over the last five years he has crafted 1,500 pieces.
Retail: Nimai and Ogaanin Delhi; Jay He at Chhatrapti Shivaji International Airport, Mumbai
Amado Gudek by Elaine Tan
Though Elaine Tan took short courses at the Central St. Martins, London after completing her masters in luxury brand management from Istituto Marangoni, Milan, she is for the most part a self-taught jewellery designer. What started as a hobby when she was 18, turned into a label called Amado Gudek.
Sustainability Quotient: She uses eco-friendly bioresin sourced from California. The renewable material found in the bioresin eliminates harmful by-products and reduces greenhouse gas emissions during the production process.
Inspiration: For her, it often starts with an idea, usually from a story behind the materials she is working with. Perhaps that is why, once they are finished, her pieces have their own unique stories to tell.
Design & Crafting: She researches extensively about the kind of designs she would incorporate in her jewellery pieces. Once she has enough references, she begins to draw them out on a software. She makes her own moulds, casts, sands, polishes and hand-finishes the jewellery at her studio in Singapore. She has her own production facility that gives her the flexibility to work and rework her designs.
She creates collections of original, thought-provoking and conversational pieces. Take for example her Fallen Trees collection, she incorporated recycled wood offcuts from fallen trees and fused them with bioresin. For the Drift Away line, she used natural driftwood, where the organic form and pattern of the wood ensured that no two pieces were alike. She understands that it is very easy for others to copy her designs. This is why she tries to keep her creations intricate, making it inmitable. She creates jewellery for women who do not like mainstream fashion.
Retail: Most Singapore boutiques, China, Hong Kong and www.etsy.com.
Studio Metallurgy by Advaeita Mathur
Advaeita Mathur, a history graduate from St. Stephens, Delhi studied fashion from Istituto Marangoni, Milan. She trained under designers Tarun Tahiliani and Leoconet Hemant before winning a competition for her designs and business pitch for Studio Metallurgy by online store Myntra for its first-ever Design Incubator Programme in 2015. Her jewellery is her take on nature, mathematical concepts and what not.
Sustainability Quotient: Locally sourced and reclaimed old instruments, wood, industrial hardware such as electric fuses, steel nozzles, clamps, ball bearings are used to realise her designs.
Inspiration: It could be the smallest of things that catches her attention such as the ever-changing nature of architecture, metal and amorphous forms that she comes across.
Design & Crafting: She loves to sketch concept driven, classic and functional designs with pencil. Everything is handcrafted in Delhi. For her first collection, Molecular, she experimented with brass plumbing washers that were welded into amorphous forms resembling the structure of atoms. It had unique elements such as test tubes, the double fuse ring and fuse ladder earrings that combined 15 ampere electric fuses and brass to make statement pieces. The Concrete collection, inspired by the changing nature of architecture included pendants within which she embedded a thin wall of concrete to strengthen them and prevent them from shattering. She has diversified into making home décorpieces that have similar philosophy.