Guided by our calling to make work play and play work, the designers and craftsmen at our nature studio create jewels from nature’s bounty. We are fond of discovery and adventure and as we wander landscapes through our footsteps and our mind’s eye, we have found that being conscious to people and the environment brings the better into design.
We work in precious metals and natural gemstones and craft with our hands. We are inspired by the stories of time and seek to learn from its constant change.
We work to preserve ancient metal craft skills, empower young craftsmen, train women to make jewels, and build bridges using the language of design. The true conscience of art and fashion is in its embrace of sustainable luxury and in this world, our footprints tell stories in global consciousness.
As we emerge from the lockdown into a more relaxed state of life engagement I ponder at my past in my everyday practice as a designer.
Having graduated in the first batch of jewelry designers ever in South East Asia. I found myself on a factory shop floor in my first month out of college being questioned by the master karigar. Women knew nothing about jewelry was the popular perception. He challenged me and I sat and textured a ring in silver. One of my better skills on the workbench.
We don't use even 10 percent of our skill sets anymore he said to me in our many work interactions.
In organized development, we were pushing into the margins a living cultural legacy of the handmade and of earth practices.
Two years later with a backpack and a flight paid for till Mumbai, I jumped on the opportunity to get to Jaipur from Mumbai after having performed at the Prithvi Theatre and the NCPA stages. In my mid 20's I decided to exit from the corporate jewelry world, embarked on a passion in theater, and in parallel explored an idea in jewelry making. Elated I embarked on my first journey into the Indian bazaar. An adventure I will not forget. An Indian woman with a backpack and a notebook in the old city of Jaipur. To map for myself the possibilities of the handmade.
Today as we look into the future, my many craft custodian friends look at a future that may be just possible. A dream that our practice over time will find a larger human engagement.
Craftspeople are also migrant labour. Our karigars come to the city from many different parts of our country to engage in the diversity of skills to make jewelry.
Two weeks ago my karigar teams called me to say they needed to get back to work. My temple jewelry team in the bazaar began to stir. The ruptured production lines in the chaotic market began to align. Many did not leave. They stayed back.
As I was thinking that this time maybe it is not worth the fight, the people whose only livelihood is in the making of beauty and cultural legacy got back to work. They told me to find a new way. Earth practices are about people. We must all work for our living with purposeful engagement.
Is beauty essential?
So many narratives don’t think so. What is the point of polluting fast fashion and machine-made jewelry? The costs that threaten the very existence of life to make it cheap and encourage consumption. In an emerging digital phase of life, what is fast?
In India, beauty has always been a part of our everyday. Hand skills our living legacy.
So I reflect if more people will give into encouraging slow practices for a collective world. To wear what is made locally so that we make small choices that collectively have a big impact on climate change. Where our buying habits are more conscious.
Revisiting those opening words I penned in 2006 to give me direction, The words resonate deeply even right now. For tomorrow, when the world stirs back into activity, hoping that the quiet whisperings of the earth as she healed has changed a few of us.
I didn’t know that when a computer was plonked on my desk, to being a reluctant learner, that one day in 2020 I would have to rewrite that philosophy to engage with technology to create a conscious beautiful slow sustainable digital footprint.
-Deepti Sudhindra, founder and designer