Thursday, March 17, 2011

The making(s) of a 'fine' gold chain

My trip to India was a great success.. And what I mean by success is; creating relationships, having fun and working hard. All of which I did and all of which were great.

My work in India is multi-dimensional, while it is stimulating to my creative side, I also produce a lot while I am there. I do buying, I design and I make jewelry with my two teachers.

One of my teachers is Balan and he lives in a remote part of N. Kerala. He is an amazing man with a wonderful family. He is 66 years old and works 12 hours a day hunched over a fire to make beautiful gold jewelry. One of my objectives is to learn from him, but another is to make jewelry with him, pay him fairly for his painstakingly hard work and hopefully help contribute to the well being of his beautiful family.

Here he is making a 20k gold chain from scratch, over a fire, using a blowpipe torch and coconut shells. This is the ancient way of making jewelry, it is a dying art. I have 3 available. Please email me if you are interested in a handmade 20k gold chain. 2) 17" chains and 1) 16" chain

making wire

putting tiny solder chips on the chain before soldering

soldering the chain

polishing and flattening a custom chain we made

beautiful gold chains

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

searching for the serene.. goodbye India.

I suppose, for me, life is mostly about trying to find the serene amidst all the chaos and ups and downs.

Some days and some places, this practice is more difficult than others. North India is one of those places. It shoves all that chaos right in your face and puts it on spin cycle, with its extremes and it’s non-decibel regulated horns. Ugh.. It’s my last few hours in India and let’s say, I’m having a difficult time finding the serene, here in Jaipur. The north of India is so very different from the south. Cities are so much more full on than the villages. Maybe you can tell, I’m having a rough day. It goes along with being in India. There are the amazing ones and then suddenly, there are the difficult ones, both being full on extremes.. Maybe I’m feeling sad because I am leaving. I know I am irritable because I’m not feeling well and now I just returned to my guesthouse to rest, but there is a screaming baby outside my door.. Oh India, testing me for the last few hours, making my practice very difficult and never dishing out the expected..

I remember, I wrote before I left.. There is one thing to be expected in India and that is, the unexpected.

My parting words are of love and once again, I want to thank Mother India for all she is and has..

As I sat on the back of the bicycle rickshaw today, I did find some serene. The stillness within the loudness, the chaos and the dust. I sat with the wind in my hair and smiled.