Category Archives: Jewelry

Polka Cafe – Jan 2017

The Fusion Projects was launched last year and the very first one was with Glasshopper. At the exhibition for the launch of the new jewellery line, I had the pleasure of meeting Meghna who unbeknown to me is a writer for Polka Cafe. She came and bought some pieces and then a few weeks later I get a mail for a short interview. The rest is in the article 🙂

Thank you Meghna Kohli Vachher.
Please click the image to read. You can read the entire article here.


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The Fusion Projects – With Glasshopper

The first in the series of The Fusion Projects is with stained glass studio – Glasshopper. It’s been 6+ months in the making but the thought actually has been brewing in my mind for almost four years.


I have always wanted to see my work in the many possible ways it can be used – to take a concept across mediums and hopefully have it successful in all of them. I wanted to take my art and make it accessible to more people. To those who may not have space for a trunk or a kettle or even a large painting…

But the jewellery had to be different and yet be universally appealing. I could have worked with a regular silver/gold smith to make the pendants but then where is the fun in that? Enter Saarus Nirhali – my friend and a wonderful stained glass artist.

I had originally asked her to just encase my artwork into some pendants and I would buy those off her and then get down to my solitary work. Collaboration had been on my mind for sometime so it was serendipitous that she asked to collaborate. And things took of from there. I knew what the end pieces needed to look like. I just needed Saarus to see my vision. And she did.  Her reaction when she saw the first set of completed necklaces was something I can’t describe.  Her words -‘ I knew you would do something but this I had not expected! I did not know my work could look like this...’ 🙂
Saarus works with glass but on a much larger scale.  So to work on one square inch pieces meant she needed to rethink her entire approach to her own work! The challenge for her was to get a fineness in the edges and edge finish. She needed to see the potential. I have to say. Saarus was ready for the challenge. The pieces are truly wonderful even if I say so myself.

At ArtByAarohi I have always tried to push the envelope a little, to blend material and media. To add an element of up-cycling or recycling.  An element of surprise. This collection too has a little bit of that.

Gold and silver have an innate value irrespective of how good or bad a design maybe. These needed to be good designs! Since neither gold nor silver is being used. The design and finesse had to be something that worked for everyone. Or at least everyone with a certain sensibility. It has been months in the studio, doing, re-doing and refining pieces.  There have been instances where a finished necklace has been pulled apart and re-done because the loops on the pendant did not sit right. I am an extremely detail oriented person and would go back to the drawing board  when I wanted a piece to be a certain size or the loops a certain orientation. But I think we are now at a level of finish that I am happy with.  Our work will only get better from here.

The artwork in each piece is based on my original painting. The materials, their use and how the end piece would look has been my work. Saarus on the other hand has worked on encasing the artwork using true Tiffany style stained glass techniques.  Her studio has been busy working away at cutting/grinding and then soldering many tiny pieces of coloured glass to fit my vision. The  loops on each piece of glass has been a very time consuming and exacting process.

I have learnt so much through this collaboration. Not just about stained glass and it’s possibilities/limitations but about working with another individual. Patience was never my strong point but I have learnt it along the way. This collaboration has allowed so many wonderful iterations in the ideation process that I can truly say that alone this series of jewellery may not have packed the punch that it does.

Please do click here to read Saarus’s experience in the making of this collection.

To view this first collection do drop by at my Studio in Bangalore on the 27th and 28th of Aug 2016 at:

The ArtbyAarohi Studio
C-44 Diamond District Apartments,
Kodihalli, Old Airport Road,
Bangalore – 560008 KA

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They are all women!! – Purvi Sanghvi

Purvi Sanghvi. The Other Side. Creative. Talented. Someone who actually does think out of the box. She makes jewellery out of nibs. As in ink pen nibs!!

Purvi Sanghvi - ArtByaarohi

It is been a while since I posted about those that make up effortless friendships in my life – I met Purvi through a mutual friend on an online forum. Our interaction was limited but I found myself in awe of the work she does.
On a trip to Mumbai I called and told her I would be in town and would she like to meet for chai. She not only met me, she drove across Mumbai to pick me up! We shared lunch and a very honest conversation on life in general. That was the start of my effortless friendship with her. She is one absolutely astounding person. Open and very very talented.

I am going to let her tell you her story in her own words.



What is your educational back ground?

I studied Bcom and then did a Diploma in Business Management. After completing the DBM  I learned something which I had been wanting to do since school – pottery. I studied and trained in the way of several short courses in pottery in India, Andretta and in the UK , Sandy Brown and Douglas Phillips at Somerset

The urge to learn pottery took me to various places and was the catalyst that fired my interest in travel, culture, people, food. Travel opened my eyes to many different cultures across the world. The exposure during my travel to learn pottery has stayed with me even now.

Purvi Sanghvi_Flight3  Purvi Sanghvi_Flight

Any educational background in Jewellery Design?

While studying production pottery at Andretta, with Mansimran Singh  I came across clay buttons made by a  young village man who used to visit the studio and sit around chatting with us. After finishing the course I came back and set up a studio in our garage. I made lots of clay jewellery along with functional ware and even exhibited some of my work. In fact I exhibited at Tokoname, Japan.

After a few years  I came to a stage in life and work where I felt stuck with my skills and saw no growth or future.  It was a hard time for me and an extremely low phase in my life. It was by chance that I applied for the MA course while on a holiday in London and got an opportunity to study.

Again the  exposure of living on my own for the first time in a different country and studying was initially overwhelming but I settled in after a while. The unbelievable contemporary jewellery and the fact that there are actually no boundaries of use of material was freeing .

During the course of my study and stay in London, I met some very interesting people and a few not so interesting as well 🙂 . However, I realized humans are the ‘same’ all over the world. My teacher Mah Rana has been a very big inspiration and I appreciate that she had the patience with me during the course 🙂

I did MA jewellery design from John Cass Dept of Art and Design , London Metropolitan University, London.

Why this particular name for your brand?

Purvi Sanghvi_LogoMy work does not involve traditional jewellery as is familiar with most people in India. The Other Side represents the other ‘face’ of jewellery. In india people are so enamoured  with silver, gold and diamonds that any jewellery made from anything other than these materials is regarded as ‘fake, or ‘imitation’ and is more often than not looked down upon. I find these words very degrading to the meaning of ‘Jewellery’. Jewellery is a personal object that you wear on your body and which should represent and reflect you, your thoughts, your beliefs and not just your financial status. I believe it can be worn by anyone and everyone but the person wearing the piece should be able to connect with what they are wearing.

However, I don’t say that you should not wear the diamonds, gold and silver, I am just saying please don’t think that jewellery made from things other than gold, silver, precious stones and diamonds is in any way ‘poor’, shameful or not worth the money!

I am happy that people like my jewellery and can connect with it.The Other Side  jewellery is not conventional jewellery though it is wearable and designed keeping in mind the norms of jewellery.

What is the process involved – concept to creation?

The materials inspire me to start work and simultaneously the concept is derived on. I don’t usually sketch the designs. However, when there are many variations and ideas which I can’t remember, I feel the need to  draw and refer to them at the time of creating. I believe I would position myself midway between a craft person and a designer.

I sometimes get attached to a particular piece or design and I am passionate about making the piece by myself. I am picky about finish and I cannot sell a piece which is not finished well. I would be too embarrassed if a potential  buyer found a flaw in construction. I am always striving to find jewellery fittings of good quality and material.

Purvi Sanghvi_Spirit2  Purvi Sanghvi_Spirit

Do you individually hand craft each piece or do you have karigars…

I do the knotting of the threads and stringing myself. Only when the piece is finished does the patwa come into the picture to do the dori/ghundi work. Although he has taught me the art of making the tassel as well I prefer that he does it as his finish is better than mine. There is no use wasting time and effort doing the dori work since the patwas seem to have been born with threads in their hands 🙂

I am very happy to say that the collections of Spirit, Forgotten Letters, Spring, are completely done by myself. I don’t stock my jewellery and hence work on custom orders or in limited edition or one offs. The forthcoming new collection  is ‘Unstirred ‘ made from ceramic glazed, unglazed beads, bamboo coral, lava beads,threads  etc. which are one offs as well.

 Why nibs?

My family had a business making ink pens. A few years ago during a conversation  with my father he mentioned that he would have to sell the remaining stock of nibs to the bhangarwala (scrap dealer). Since the factory had since closed down, there was raw stock of around 150 kgs of nibs and he wanted to clean up the space.

I was aghast with what he said and requested that I be allowed to use some nibs to make some jewellery. He agreed. I spent the first few days just looking at the nibs to just get a ‘feel’ of them. I didn’t want to alter the shape if I could help it. Since altering would mean that the plating would be damaged and I would need to re- plate them and there was a chance that they may not look like nibs in the end.  Though at sometime I do hope to experiment with altering the shape and design of the nibs to have more variety. I think it  would be interesting to see a new dimension to the use of nibs.

Further I realized that if the nibs were to be discarded, the history and story of the pen in India would never be heard, would remain untold and would die along with the nibs. I wanted to celebrate the history of nibs and also endeavor to make good use of the beautiful nibs in my own small way.

All these nibs were handmade in the factory and have gone through several hands to give them the shape, look and feel that they have. To me they are like beautiful gold coins.
You can watch part of the story of this incredible journey here as was told at TEDx talk on the India Memory Project.

Purvi Sanghvi_ForgottenLetters3 Purvi Sanghvi_ForgottenLetters

What compels you to keep creating?

Nothing compels and everything compels.
I like working with my hands and love the intricacy and concentration required while making a piece. The inward looking and thinking happens during that time. And I believe that shows in the jewellery. There are long phases/periods where I don’t design at all. During this time I listen to music, watch movies, read and travel. And then one day I will start the collection and complete it in a week.

The last completed  collection was Spring. It was made from gold plated steel ball pen springs. The connecting of the springs to create shapes is most interesting and shows how versatile a mundane object like a ball pen spring can be. 🙂

Purvi Sanghvi_Unstirred Purvi Sanghvi_Spring

What have your interactions with people online/fb (to do with your work) taught you?

Interaction on Facebook have been interesting. Sometimes information is rejected by me, sometimes it has made me work harder. Overall I have had a positive response from online interactions. Even though I find it difficult to communicate with people online, I have been encouraged and praised by the audience which has had me going until now.

Could you tell us of a piece that you did not want to part with and did not!!

Purvi Sanghvi_circleoflifeA friend wanted to buy this piece. I was ready to sell it initially. In fact this piece was exhibited at Leginca, Poland at the Silver festival.

I  designed this piece not so much as to enter the competition but to have an excuse to visit Poland  which of course I did.

When the piece came back to Mumbai after being exhibited in the gallery for a few months, my friend asked for the piece and the price. When I had to give a price to my friend and I was discussing it with my mom, she said “Don’t sell it. You have made it and the price is nothing for the effort you have put in anyway. Don’t sell it for the money.”  I was so relieved as that was on my mind but was not able to say a ‘no’ since I had committed the piece to my friend . I am happy that I didn’t sell it and kept it for myself.

How does one buy your art from you?

If anyone wants to buy, I would love to hear from them.

I am very interested in knowing who wants to wear it, and would love a one to one interaction. You can email me on  or contact me on the Facebook page and you will receive a reply promptly ! I usually make one off’ s or very limited pieces of a design.

Note- All nib pieces are wearable, they don’t hurt and they are attractive.
All finished  pieces are handmade by me . A lot of time and effort is put in.
The nibs are made of steel and gold plated. Like all jewellery, care needs  to be taken while wearing and storing the pieces. The nib colour will change over a period of time.

I need to get me one from the ‘Forgotten Letters’ or the ‘Flight’ series. Soon. I love Purvi’s work.

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They are all women!! – Aparna Das Sadhukhan

Aparna Das Sadhukhan. Nine by Thirty. Grit. Determination and a passion to succeed. I have read late night posts from her where she is willing her self to finish making one more piece and then one more…


Aparna is on my list of effortless friendships. We have never met in real life but I am so looking forward to that day. Though we have spent some time sharing in each others lives online. So you could say that many a life’s secrets have been shared over endless cups of virtual chai.

Those that know me well, know that I hardly change my jewelry. It’s the same thing that I have on all the time. But looking at Aparna’s pieces, I feel like letting loose the inner bohemian goddess. (Yes, I have one of those hiding in there somewhere!!)

A PGD in Mass Communication from the Symbiosis institute of Media and Communication in Pune, worked with a few agencies here and there and even a movie down south, she finds her passion in Jewelry. I am going to let her tell you her story in her own words.

Any background in Jewelry?

None really. I only loved wearing silver. In fact I wanted to wear some on my wedding too. But I was too young to oppose the relatives-mafia.  Taking a one day workshop in silversmithing at Sydney Art school marked the serendipitous beginning to making jewelry. I wanted to fund my own classes in Sydney Art School. I decided to make beaded jewelry (self-learnt completely) and try selling them and use that money to fund more classes.  It worked differently to my delight. I sold my earrings and instead of using that money to go back to school, I bought more raw material. That was the beginning. With a capital of 200 AUD.

Why the name ‘Nine By Thirty’?

That was our house number in Sydney. A home I loved dearly. It revealed to  me a lot of undiscovered qualities I had, but never knew. That house  with a lemon tree in it’s backyard turned out to be a magical influence in my life. I was bordering on clinical depression without a job in Australia. What was worse, I wasn’t sure what I wanted.  9/30 brought things into perspective for the first time in my life. It made me write poetry, cook unthinkable desserts and dishes, photograph and make jewellery. When we were thinking of names, both my husband and friend came up with this idea. it sounded just right.

What is the process involved – concept to creation?

It all depends on what I have in front of me and what I have been exposed to  over the last couple of days- music, stories, movies, colours, people. Every impression matters. I do not sketch. I have a heap of beads and silver in front of me. I pick and string as and how the head and heart asks me to!

(I wonder what Aparna would make after our long awaited cup of chai :-))


Do you individually hand craft each piece or have ‘karigars’…?

I initially had a line where I handcrafted my silver too. But that didn’t fully satisfy me, besides the fact that people didn’t pay the amount a handcrafted thing piece deserves. But that was just an excuse not to make more. I like what I do now- source and recreate simply because I have a lot of fun traveling and picking my silver and beads and then putting them together. It is a more fluid and fun process. However, I do wish to have my own set of karigars- the real artists / designers who could work with Nine by Thirty.


What compels you to keep creating?

My heart and my husband. That sounds so awfully corny, I know. But that’s the truth. I am what I am because of his unwavering faith in my ability to turn whatever I touch into gold (silver?!).  As long as there is an urge to create I do it. The minute that stops, I stop too. I never make anything (even if it’s a highly urgent order) just because it needs to be made. I used to do that in my other life – the pre-NBT life. Post NBT, everything is about how I feel. Miraculously I’ve been on a high ever since I strung my first necklace.

What have your interactions with people online/FB (to do with your work) taught you?

To be perceptive. To trust and not to! FB has also shown me a very ugly side to life and people – but far more beautiful is it’s fun and unending possibilities.  Eventually it is all about what one chooses to see and accept. I have made good use of FB. It has given me friendships for life and a business which is literally a second lease of life. I have little to complain.


Ever have trouble letting go of a piece?

Each and every piece! I realized that only now when I was going through images of my favourite pieces.  Since each one I make is almost always a one piece, it pains to think I’ll never have bother one of that. But when I see the person in front of me lusting after it, it melts me totally and in a strange way feel happier letting it go 🙂

But the best is yet to come. It is still in the making ! I need to visit the tribal regions of Odisha to make that image in my head a reality.

As is customary I always end with a picture of my friend and me or just her with a cup of chai. In this case I break with tradition – I got something which is almost as good as chai, if not better. Rocky!!

Click here to get to her FaceBook page and here to see the process of buying.


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