The Loving Labour of Handcrafting Silver Jewellery.
"Indian jewellery is not merely craft ; it is an art, both in design and workmanship. It therefore deserves to be studied as a major art form, on par with architecture, sculpture and painting.'' - Usha Bala Krishnan, Dance of the Peacock(Jewellery Traditions of India).
The sheer complexity of Indian jewellery, the motifs used, the techniques involved and multiple processes resorted to makes it an art form without parallel in the world. The beauty of Indian design and the genius of Indian craftsmanship has not received the appreciation that it deserves. A large part of the attraction of Indian Jewellery comes from the fact that most intricate pieces are still handcrafted. But what are the processes involved in `handcrafting' a piece of jewellery?
Let us take you on a journey into KO's manufacturing facility in the picturesque sea-side town of Karwar (Karnataka,India); where we craft Silver into all the gorgeous designs that adorn you.
[Melting silver and moulding it into rods]
Blocks of pure silver along with left over pieces from the previous day are melted in a furnace and poured into a dye, resulting in solid rods of the metal.
[Creating silver sheets of different thickness]
In the machine room these rods are passed through rollers in a drawing machine to make silver strips of different thickness.
[Moulding silver into different designs]
These strips of silver are moulded and cut into desired shapes using various types of punches [made of brass].
[Adding further embellishment to design by soldering]
Once the basic shape is ready, different minute silver designs are attached to the shape by soldering them under heat.
[Filing the rough edges and final polish]
Once pieces are ready, the outer edges are made uniform by filing. Next, they are put in a polisher that has a chemical bath. When this process is complete the Silver comes out shimmering and polished, any rough edges are polished by hand.
[Final embellishment using enamel]
Once all this is done, the jewellery is embellished with enamel-work, stone-setting etc.
[The finished products are weighed, tagged, packed and waiting to be shipped to stores]
So the next time you pick up a piece of handcrafted, Sterling Silver (92.5%) jewellery from KO be sure to appreciate the painstaking workmanship that creates this intricate detailing .
- Priya Revankar