A classic piece of jewelry drives every woman around the world head over heals. Since the beginning of its journey, jewelry has been inseparable from the women who adorn it.
India, a country rich in its culture & heritage, witnesses a wide array of jewelry arts, ranging from Kundan, Meenakari, Thewa, Gems to intricate Gold and Silver work. Every single jewelry art form has a story behind it. Here we will talk about one such age old arts of a jewelry style, Meenakari.
If you are an ardent jewelry shopper then we believe Meenakari jewelry is mandatory on your checklist.
Meenakari is a Persian art of enameling with brilliant colors on the surface of a metal. This art form was alien to India until it was introduced by the Mughals around 16th century. King Man Singh brought skillful meenakar’s from Mughal palace and introduced Meenakari art in Rajasthan.
The process of making this age old art continues to be the same and needs amplitude of skill and precision. The process starts with the designer using silver and gold as the base for the enameling before handing it over to the goldsmith, who then engraves delicate designs on the metal. These grooves are then applied with colors as per their level of hardness, hardest one being the first, as the color fusing is done by passing through the furnace. Often a layer of transparent enamel is applied at the end.
Traditional Meenakari art to Modern day Meenkari art
Traditionally the bright meenakari colors were a mix of powdered glass, which added distinctive shine to the colors. Some colors such as 'deep red' were just not easy to create though. This method however, had a drawback of getting cracks or scratches at meenakari portions if the piece fell or got mishandled. Most modern day makers prefer an alternate method, where the color is mixed with hardener, with no involvement of glass powder. This method is more durable, keeps the color unchanged for longest time and in case of any minor damages, the jewelry can also be repaired which isn’t possible with traditional meenakari. We aren’t saying the new method is something one should always go with. Depends on how affable you are towards traditional jewelry.
Today Meenakari isn't just restricted to metals, but can be seen on various surfaces including precious & semi-precious stones.
The passage which has been created from going traditional to contemporary one can relate to the quote, ‘Art is either revolution or plagiarism’ - Paul Gaugin
Meenakari art has been there since ages and has evolved itself; with due respect to the art, the skilled craftsman with their agility and precision show case a mesmerizing piece making it analogous to the traditional art style.
Check out Meenakari Jewellery Styles at Nirwaana