Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Today we visit the extraordinary Ajanta Caves of Maharashtra, India. Complex yet beautifully detailed portraits depicting the life of the Buddha cover the caves' walls, pillars, and ceilings. India is also the home of featured jewelry designer Awadhesh.

Here again India's renowned jewelry history includes the painstaking intricacy of gold and enamel meenakari bijouterie, and the exquisite Kundan style characterized by luminous glass or crystal set in gold.

Since gold items and jewelry are considered highly valuable in many cultures, I was surprised to learn that in many regions of India, such as the Kashmir region, silver is a prominent component of decorative items including headdresses, and filigree jewelry.

According to the country's historical records, both silversmiths and goldsmiths were highly regarded. Based on the items I have viewed at Novica.com, Awadhesh works entirely with sterling silver, and in some ways, his aesthetic brings to mind the superlative work of Balinese silversmiths.

His accents of small, silver granules to frame a design, like his Paradise Bracelet, are one such similarity. Overall, I think his design approach combines the lavish style of meenakari with a modern flair.

Awadhesh's lyrical style is largely informed by instinct. "My family has a long lineage in business, but I was different. I was energetic, creative and I always wanted to do something different in life," he recalls.

"I used to meet people who were involved in some form of art, be it painting, designing, writing, or theater. I fell in love with theater work and I joined the National School of Drama.

At the same time, I met someone who designed jewelry, and he encouraged me to take up designing. Although my father did not approve, I visited different kinds of craftsmen, instead of taking professional courses and I learned from them."

His beautifully crafted pieces feature low relief casts, and unique surface textures, accentuated by citrine, red onyx, and lapis.

Oxidation and granulation hint at India's ancient maharajas and regal d├ęcor. The complexity of the design quality clearly displays Awadhesh's deft ability at silversmithing.

"I am doing what I love. Presently, several artisans work with me. I also help young design students by promoting their designs. I am very grateful that Novica provides an international platform to show my designs."
Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver Chandelier Earrings
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Desert Tapestry Cuff
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