Throwback modernist jewellery

Jotting in my little black book for Ahmedabad next is – Kritha Makwana, for her abstract metal jewellery. It is quite unlike the ones we have featured earlier i.e. sculptural jewellery by Manifest Design and organically traditional by Dvibhumi.

With hints from primitive bronze and iron age, it dawned on me how this ‘throwback modernist jewellery‘ would undoubtedly suit the one who wears her creativity on her sleeve, but more likely a pacifist, preferring to flaunt her heirloom precious baubles only during the rites of passage.

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Read on for excerpts of our email conversations –

MD: How old are you and what about your label? 

KM: I am 31 years old while the label is 3 years old.

MD: Allow us a peek into your family and childhood.

KM: Was born in Bombay, into a Gujarati household. Later we moved to Ahmedabad, when I was 5 years old.

Our ancestors were mostly Blacksmiths and Carpenters (“Lohar-Suthar”). In retrospect,  I have taken up 2 professional interests that were related to both aforementioned fields – working with metal and architecture. I grew up with my grandfather telling me his stories about working and constructing ports, as a project coordinator on ‘Shah House’ with Rajeev Sethi in Mumbai, and how design and craft was perceived in his work for Mukand Iron and Steel in Mumbai. His exposure sounded very interesting to me as a child.

MD: You mean subconsciously those two past connections came into play. Eventually, when and how did you begin jewellery designing and that too with unconventional materials?

KM: I experimented with jewelry design when I was a student at the School of Architecture, CEPT. At that time, during one of my meanderings in the walled city of Ahmedabad, I came across a sewing machine bobbin and rusted hinge in a heap of metal waste. Exploring further, found more interesting, abstract and undefined scarp. These beautiful discarded pieces piqued my interest as accessories for myself…. it wasn’t a commercial idea initially!

MD: The discarded pieces seem to following a thought pattern. What is your ideology behind the eclectic design?

KM: I am fascinated by the idea of ‘adaptive reuse’ and its idea of impermanence. Any piece discarded has beauty of age, time, meanings, relationships hidden in it. We are not here to decipher what the piece brings with it. Instead, I enjoy their openness to adapt to a new form; all along keeping their past associations intact, as its soul. Hence, ambiguity has been a recurring theme in my collections, irrespective of discarded elements.

MD: Describe your jewellery in 3 words.

KM: Cognitive

         Experimental

         Sensorial

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MD: What would you recommend a design enthusiast does in Ahmedabad?

KM: Visit Calico Museum, exhibitions of students’ work at National Iinstitute of Dsesign and Centre for Environmental Planning Technology, near the university area.

Do not forget to take walks within the ‘Pols’ (housing clusters) of the walled city of Ahmedabad.

Basically, there is a mix of old and contemporary architecture to experience e.g. The Kite Museum, Mill Owners Association (also City Museum or Sanskar Kendra,  Jama Masjid, and villages surrounding the old city). One can also spend a quiet evening at the Gandhi Ashram, designed by Charles Mark Correa – an Indian architect, urban planner and activist. He was credited for the creation of modern architecture in post-Independent India, and celebrated for his sensitivity to the needs of the urban poor along with use of traditional methods and materials cited by Wikipedia.

Follow the jeweller  on Instagram to dress up rather atypically.

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