Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra
In another life that I lived within this life I had a little venture called IQ Club.
Had a lot of fun creating a brain-games-based workshop for kids. The parents & teachers loved it as the kids were working unbeknownst to them, and the kids were happy because they were playing. And I was happy because I made a little money.
Money enough to buy myself 2 little diamonds for my ears.
I wore them with pride and joy for they represented an idea that was entirely mine.
Over the years IQ Club grew and then eventually when we moved to another country I sold it to another Mensa member.
Eventually my earholes grew bigger and the little diamonds having stayed the same size (unfortunately) began slipping through – giving me little heart attacks!
So I decided to have the pair reset into a ring.
With the city in which anything is possible by my side i.e. Mumbai – I began the process.
A few whatsapp messages were exchanged between me in Singapore and my jeweler in Mumbai and discussions began. We explored design options using images from google and settled on one. And based on my travel plans and public holidays and work commitments of the craftsmen, the dateline was planned.
So on the first visit the jeweller took me to the goldsmith who worked in a small space nearby. The stones were measured and my finger was sized.
And the actual goldmsmithing work began!
3 days later, the gold band with claws was ready and waiting for the arrival of the diamonds.
And so for the last time, I put on the earrings and left for the jeweller’s shop in Bandra.
Within an hour the carbon bits had been de-earringed and each had been set into the 8 claws of the ring, steam-cleaned, rodium anodised and finally polished.
And I left the jeweller with stars in my eyes at having rekindled the life of the little jewels.
Here are some pictures of the goldsmiths crafting the ring:
The workspace is small and short – even my 5’2″ was too much for the ceiling to accommodate and I had to bend over or sit down. But these three men worked there independently and cooperated in the space sharing. Further, when I mentioned the awe at this cooperation they mentioned that this space is rented out asa workshop only from 8am to 8pm by these craftsmen who live far away. At 8pm it becomes the residence of 4 other men who occupy it as a sleeping space – with just enough room for a mattress. This, is Mumbai. This is why everyone can make their dreams come true. For every idea, Mumbai has a business model waiting to offer the infrastructural support at any level that one wishes to operate in!
The jars of water help to brighten and diffuse the light of the bulb.
Here is a picture of some other earring that he was making at the time!
These little 1 cent diamonds were slated to be fixed on to the earring above.
Back to my earrings / ring:
Fixing the claws with little screwdriver type of things… (I do not have the required vocabulary for this!)
Polishing the gold band.
And finally steam cleaning.
Totally enjoyed participating in the creative process!
Just around the corner there is another shop equally small where gold ornaments are melted and then restyled into jewelry that’s more contemporary. There’s also a little space in which old zari saris are burnt to extract the gold or silver thread ….
And all these little crafts remained undiscovered by me in the little by lanes of Bandra – the suburb that is the only place I really belong to!
How little one needs to travel to find new things!