One day as I happened to be exchanging notes with Aditi Prakash the designer and owner of Pure Ghee Designs (a niche brand which uses rich Indian textiles for handbags) mentioned her friend Rosalind Pereira, who had been quietly encouraging and engaging grass root level artisans (patuas-the jewellery stringers from U.P.) to revive their expertise. She found them earning their daily wages in Mumbai, after giving up the traditional skill of charakkam or handknotting, which was disturbing for a craft enthusiast.
Interestingly Maya necklaces and bracelets had taken my fancy on my last visit to Good Earth, and I had fervently wished to feature it few weeks ago. They brought back memories of my childhood when I had the opportunity to appreciate various decorative arts and crafts done by the Muslims in my quaint hometown, in UttarPradesh.
Maya – the couture and Mayabazaar – the prêt lines have easily carved a niche with the revival of dying craft forms. They thread distinct pieces of jewellery while supporting craft communities who have lost their primary livelihood – agriculture. The labels provide the craftsmen necessary design intervention, product development and marketing aids for building a sustainable craft. There is hard work involved in creating value by sensitizing the buyers with the idiosyncrasies of the handicraft industry and celebrating its imperfections. Ever since its inception 17 yrs. ago, they’ve been successfully improving the lives of several families beginning with women, their health, education, finances, family planning and relationship issues.
They take pride in continuing with the traditional Indian handicraft legacy of creating negligible carbon footprint, by prioritizing the use of natural, non-toxic, renewable materials and processes. Both lines include painstakingly handcrafted necklaces and bracelets in semi-precious stones, metals, vegetable dyed silk, cotton and wool. These observe different seasons and festivals for a woman who looks forward to adorning simply for the love of life everyday, with colourful elements representing her moods with the exact degree of fuss.
Rosalind has also been passionately advocating craft-for-profit since its known to loose its sheen when made charitable. Inimitably this high end costume jewellery is found only at the upmarket designer stores like Kimaya & Good Earth in New Delhi, Amethyst & Good Earth in Chennai, Cinnamon at Bengaluru, Anonym at Hyderabad and Good Earth in Mumbai and the prêt line Mayabazaar at the ‘Cottons’ stores.
Based out of Mumbai now, she reminisces her childhood days in Pune which left an indelible mark on her with its expanses of greenery and buildings no taller than the first floor. The unstructured openness stroked her creativity and gave her a sense of belonging since everything was unmistakably Maharashtrian. For further studies she shifted to Mumbai where she did her Masters in Communications and Developmental Sciences and took up a white-collared job for a while. Her inner child took a giant leap when she landed with an opportunity to work with a design and craft organization – Dastkaar.
Years later, Rosalind yet thrives on the old school of thought, dislikes fusion, thinks redevelopment should be organic and sees harmony in everything. Click on Jaypore to view her latest collection as it stays online only from 17th Aug-7th Sep’14.