Imagine experiencing fine crafted jewellery by immersing yourself into a journey–where each piece of creation has its own narrative and you are able to witness an amalgamation of precious wearable forms of art, space, thought and design. It is this experience of immersion that Rahul Jhaveri, Founder of Studio Renn, attempts to achieve through his love for art and fine jewellery.
As a third generation diamantaire, Rahul has always been creatively inclined and jewellery was the natural medium of choice for his creative outlet. Being extensively process oriented, where the design often supersedes the work itself; he believes the work is just a physical manifestation of a moment in time in his study.
For him the preliminary conceptualisation happens, by not keeping jewellery in mind in the first place. “We meditate on a thought and ideate through sketches, paper models, architectural images, conversations, words and phrases. We use jewellery as a medium to express those explorations. We try to abstract the world around us by stripping away whatever is not required. Ooze, glow, nothingness, shadows, air gaps – these intangible elements are at the heart of our work and not the tangible elements which we assign value to. Our approach is also very experimental, and we learn a lot more from our failure than we do from our success. So the most personal works are the designs which have fallen by the wayside – lost dreams which will manifest themselves in another way,” says Rahul.
Rahul is not looking at making jewellery — for him its merely a medium used to express his creativity. Rather he focusses on encouraging people to slow down, look, listen and feel. Being material agnostic; for him the design and its creative process is more important than the physical aspects of the work. He shares that it is the intangible elements such as reflections, volume – the oblivion – that makes the jewellery piece what it is. That is what he constantly strives to achieve too.
Rahul continually challenges his skills, intellectually and technically, as all his designs are editioned pieces–not to make them exclusive, but to push him to perpetually innovate and evolve the wearable pieces of art.
“We simply stay true to our vision and what comes out is what it is. We do not try to adhere to any trends or shifts. Our approach to design is our signature–not the designs themselves. What we have to offer is always something real and meaningful,” says Rahul.
He further goes on to say, “There is a growing need for original, thoughtful and personal work. It’s work that is true to itself, and more and more people have become sensitive to pick up on that. These works cannot and should not be defined or categorised because they create a constraint on how people can view, interpret and wear them”.
Rahul is focusing on making a change; rather he believes, that there is a huge drive to change two things, specifically true to the Indian jewellery market. One being the industry that has commoditised jewellery – breaking it down to simply a sum of its parts. He is trying to change this conversation, by bringing the design into focus, along with the distinct narrative of the piece into discussion – making people realise that things are greater than the sum of their parts.
The other aspect that is very important to him is to start a dialogue between the people of the industry. Jewellers often view each other as competition, but Rahul prefers to think of them as peers. “There is a need for a conversation between jewellery houses and designers – encouraging a confluence of ideas, exchange of thoughts and approaches by bonding over shared experiences,” says Rahul.
For a brand like Studio Renn that values slowly-crafted contemporary jewellery, it was initially difficult to find the right partners to make it scalable whilst preserving quality, but when they did – it was even rarer to see the same level of uncompromising passion. Rahul has been fortunate enough to find the right people. More often than not, the right people have found him, as he puts it – “our paths just converged serendipitously”.
“Jewellery has always been an integral part of people’s personal and communal identity. But today there has been a shift in people’s perceptions. Things that are authentic, meaningful, purposeful and resonates with an individual–that’s what they are drawn towards. People are not buying anymore, they are looking forward to collecting exorbitant pieces. Keeping that in mind, it does not matter how we seem to categorise jewellery anymore, be it–traditional, contemporary, opulent or minimal. As long as it is true to itself–it will be able to stand on its own,” concludes Rahul.