Sujatha Suresh

I have loved jewellery from the time I was very young. My memories of Pati, my maternal grandmother,  in the red uncut ruby lotus necklace are myriad - weddings, family functions. Even today when I think of summers with her, the memories are entwined with this gorgeous lotus necklace. My hugging her as I [...]

Caste in Jewellery Making

Even though India is moving from a caste to a class-based society, caste is what artisan communities identify with. The deity from whom all karigars, artisans, achaaris, goldsmiths, blacksmiths, temple architects, weavers and creators claim descent. "See, Vishwakarma and his sons worked together on [...]

By |2019-09-30T19:20:14+05:30August 8th, 2019|Categories: Meaning, Tamilnadu|Tags: , , , , , , |13 Comments

From Burma to Tamilnadu: The Tale of a Ruby

Rubies spark fire.  Evoke passions.  Are mysterious. Mined in Tanzania and Thailand, Afghanistan and Kashmiri Pakistan, Ceylon and Burma, rubies have long been the most favoured gemstone of Tamilians. They have been quoted in ancient Tamil epics like Manimekalai and Silappadikaaram. Temple courtesans or thevar-adiyal were named Manikkam or Precious Ruby. [...]

Closed Setting Diamonds: Only in India

Setting gemstones into gold allows for many options.  You can set a diamond using a claw setting or a prong setting. In India, perhaps unique to the region, South India uses what is called the "closed setting," in which the stone nestles inside a nest of gold. This requires many steps.  Watch [...]

By |2021-07-06T10:06:24+05:30August 2nd, 2019|Categories: Making, Tamilnadu|Tags: , , , , , , |0 Comments

Growing your Ears to Dangle a Snake

When a young girl came of age, the story goes, the jeweller would visit her home to pierce her ears. He would then insert soft hay into it to make sure that the hole didn't close. A few days later he would visit to "tear" the hole just a bit more.  Insert more [...]

Parts of an Intricate Wedding Necklace

Portraits of people and places: Jeweller Srinivasan. Karaikudi's pace is languid: a comforting counterpoint to the frenetic pace of Tamilnadu's capital city, Chennai. Old women still walk the streets with baskets on their heads, selling bananas, carrots and strings of jasmine flowers. Regional local fruits like the nungu are loved. [...]

The Chettinad Wedding Necklace

In the crepuscular light before dawn, Karaikudi's silhouette is softer; its cacophonous traffic, muted. The air remains humid and heavy but cooler, scented by a strange combination of jasmine and gutter. Roadside stalls serve Kumbakonam degree coffee in stainless steel tumblers. Some 3000 acharis or goldsmiths live in the [...]

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