One of my Christmas finds is this Contemporary Sculptural Jewelry for an understated sparkle at the beach parties this season.
Manifest Design established in the fall of 2013, is a dream project of siblings Manreet & Samraat Deol, who are committed to revitalizing the traditional metalsmithing traditions of India. Manreet, the Creative Director of Manifest Design thought of ‘Everyday Wearable Art’ which stems from her eccentric visual vocabulary that might be familiar but truly unexpected, like gnarled corals, sensuous vines, bold rock sculptures, urban art etc. For it a self confessed sculptor took advantage of a metal-smith to nail a layer of intrigue and warmth.
So, just like the great Masters each design begins as a clay sculpture that is expertly cast in reclaimed brass and aluminum using the ancient metallurgy technique of Sand Casting; a time consuming process in which skilled craftsman painstakingly creates a new sand mold for every piece. Hot metal is hand poured into these and allowed to cool before the sand mold is broken apart to reveal it. These one of a kind objects are then individually sanded and polished to reveal the finished jewel. Brilliantly, this low impact manufacturing technique captures the softness for a sandy textural feel. And the little dents further accentuate the beauty of an entirely handcrafted product.
MG: What were your childhood design inspirations?
Manreet: Being a quintessential army brat I was lucky to have grown up in various places, surrounded with nature. Many hours were spent exploring wilderness which instilled in me a love for organic forms. Later as a teenager I became very interested in crafting ornaments out of recycled materials.
Eventually, all the early expeditions lead me to pursue design as a profession.
MG: What is your design trajectory?
Manreet: I am a NIFT and Parsons NYC alumni. Have worked for 15 yrs as a product designer with US houseware/tabletop luxury brands like Jay Strongwater, L’objet, Judith Leiber , Metropolitan Museum of Arts etc.
MG: Describe your jewelry with words other than sculptural.
Manreet: Organic, lush, primal, trend free
MG: What’s your next step in jewelry?
Manreet: We are launching an exciting mens’ collection.
MG: Who are the people from the design world who’ve inspired you?
Manreet: In jewelry segment I love the work of JAR .
My list of sculptors who I am in awe of, is long. They’ve pushed me to create more un-expected pieces. e.g. the monumental steel sheet sculptures of Richard Serra and the thought provoking works of Louise Bourgeois.
MG: Your topic du jour? Manreet: Discovering the unique clear voice of contemporary Indian Design.
She now works from the charming French Colonial town of Pondicherry, in South India, but the jewelry is crafted all over India. While Samraat, her brother, is the brain behind this business of fashion; spreading its wings in the fall of 2014, with retail debut in U.S.A. at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS & SEASON’S GREETINGS!