Monday, February 23, 2009

new pieces.. last day!!

Today is my last day in India and I am going to miss her so much.. The man outside yelling papaya..papaya..papaya.. the smells of jasmine.. the crazy dirvers.. the heat.. the dust.. all of it. I don't know when I will be back, hopefully really soon, but here are a few photos of our new pieces.. I hope you like them.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

more on Kerala...

here are some more photos from my journey to Kerala. Balan is a goldsmith by day and fisherman by night, he goes to catch fish for the night meal most nights.. In this case, it is prawn season, so every evening, around 5:30 or 6:00, he packs up his goldsmithing case and gets out his fishing net and walks through the jungle to a small channel going into the Arabian Sea. He throughs his net out and slowly draws it back in and the net has maybe 10 or so small prawns. He continues this for awhile, hangs out with his buddies and then walks home.. They dry the prawns in the sun the next day and save them throughout the year for special meals.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Keralan jungle

Whoa.. It's been a while. I just got back to Mysore from a lovely week spent in Kerala working with Balan the goldsmith. He made me 7 beautiful handmade (from scratch) chains. I have already sold 3 of them, but if you are interested. Let me know, I can give you the details and save one for you.

Kerala is a magical land, tropical, hot, laid back. The family I work with is so sweet and kind, they do everything from their home. Balan works outside on his veranda, his wife and two adult daughters work around the home, Granny sits and keeps herself busy playing with all the children who come by. It's quiet, it's a slow paced life, but also very simple. I love it. I love being there and realizing my crazy life in the US is not the only way to be. They eat from their land, cashews, mango, jackfruit, tamarind. They work hard and love each other. It's amazing.

Balan has been teaching me Indian goldsmithing for two years now. I have spent about one month with him over that time learning from him and custom ordering pieces, paying him a fair wage for his hard work. Every day, he works 11 hours making very little money.

Here are some photos from the visit. I will post more in the next few days.

Chains, unfinished, just out of the fire
rings (made in Mysore with Kumar) star ruby
Balan polishing chains with a seed from his tree
me polishing chains with a seed from his tree
me holding a fresh cashew which we smoldering in a fire of palm fronds and then ate..

Monday, February 2, 2009

some rings and other things

I've been working a lot and it's going really well. Here are a few photos of some of the rings we made recently for a friend of mine here in Mysore..(well she's in Goa now). It's a 6 carat facetted ruby ring set in 20k gold and two blue pushparaga rings... very beautiful...

Also a few photos of Kumar, Rangaswami and the kids outside his shop.. Life is good. India is amazing!!!