Paying my dues

I get asked this question at least once a day on an average – Why did I choose to make jewelry with wood, textile and elements of stained glass ( for the first edition) when I could have used semi-precious  metal and stones?

The answer is really very simple to me. It follows the principles that I have tried to live my life by. I want to be able to pay my dues. To do riyaz as it were. I want to take this process indeed every process where ever possible as slowly as possible. So that I can practice, learn and grow.

It would be very easy to go to a skilled karigar and design a piece and get him to create it. While there is nothing wrong with that approach I would not be learning much. I would have the satisfaction of seeing my minds vision come to life. But I want to understand the process, the subtleties and nuances of creating apiece. And I do understand that if and when I go on to creating bespoke pieces in precious metal and stones I may still not be doing the actual work. But then at least I would have a better understanding of the process of creation.

Being a self-taught artist has meant that this is the only approach possible for me to learn and grow. Who knows someday I might even get to do the actual metal work involved. Thus far the design, concept and artwork has been mine.The majority of the stringing, beading, cording and hook work has been mine. The first collection using stained glass meant that another set of people were involved. I learnt from that process too. I learnt much about the possibilities and limitations of Stained glass as a craft and technique.

The second edition of jewelry has been all me. Entirely.  And I say that with satisfaction. Not ego. Never ego. That I learnt from Nakul Sinha.

I learnt the possibilities that wood and different kinds of wood offer. How stringing and beading would change where there are no loops soldered on like the first edition but only pre decided holes available for attachment. Suddenly the proportion of the piece changed. The textile pieces meant that the cording needed to have more solidity and weight. So now I had to learn more about cording. Just designing it and asking a karigar to do it was not an option… Tomorrow if I do pieces in specific colors or using other materials there will be more to learn I am sure. And that learning I find finally gets applied to so much more than the piece that I learnt it on!!

90-95% of the work that goes out of my studio is created by me in entirety or at least for the most part. As I scale and get people on board. I would do so with the knowledge that I do know my product – Inside out. That is important to me. That is what my journey is about.

So now you know why I started with a smaller toned down version of what I see in my minds eye of the possibilities in jewelry. I hope someday to be able to create pieces in gold, silver and all things precious. But until then I pay my dues as I would have if I had gone to an art school or design school.

By the way I wonder if you all realized that the Poonchh portraits of the dogs that I love so much are done for one rupee a portrait. Why? – Because that too is riyaz. I pay my dues…

To view and buy from my studio please visit – www.artbyaarohi.com/shop

Disclaimer – This is the approach I choose to follow. It may not be yours and that is ok too. 🙂 And I hope to follow it as far and for as long as possible.

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