A carved idol of Ganesha, flanked by stone images of goddesses Siddhi and Riddhi are focal points of the Siddhivinayak Temple in India. India is also the birthplace of featured jewelry designer Riddhika Jesrani.
The jewelry trade in India dates back thousands of years with origins in Indus Valley. The country is perhaps best known for its intricate, Mughal-influenced, kundan and meenakari designs.
Long before the Mughal era--and even during that era--intricate beadwork provided the bulk of India's jewelry industry.
During the Mughal era, beads for the most part were cultivated from rough stones, which were heated, chiseled into orbs, and perforated.
In the present day, however, a variety of colorful beads from clay to glass to ceramic are readily available to a designer. Jesrani's jewelry takes a cue from the beadwork produced by her ancestors accented and accents it with a modern edge.
A graphic designer by day, the Parson New School of Design alumna blends vintage charms, collected from flea markets, with beads of crystal and Czech Glass and semi-precious gemstones like hematite, turquoise, coral, fire agate, jade, amber, and jasper. The arrangement and color combinations of the beads and gemstones amplify otherwise understated designs.
Established in 2005, Jesrani's company, Riddhika Jesrani Jewelry, garnered the attention of WeTv's show Platinum Weddings. In one episode, Jesrani supplied bridesmaids with luminous jewelry creations.
Not only does she follow a single color palette but she also implements at least four different contrasting (yet complementary) colors in one piece. She also supplies hints of texture with a carved rose, brass lion head, or silver arabesque beads.
There is an easy, casual energy to Jesrani's aesthetic although her use of rich color provides a captivating aura that draws you in.
"My jewelry is influenced by the places I have lived and traveled to, the people I have met, food, animals, and the personalities of my friends," Jesrani offers.
Photo 1 (top right): Purple Quartz Necklace
Photo 2 (center): Five-Strand Bead Necklace