Indian women love adorning their bodies with gorgeous jewelry, be it made of gold, silver, precious stones or baked clay (terracotta). They not only beautify a woman’s appearance; in Hindu tradition it is believed that ornaments stimulate her divine consciousness and add radiance and joy to her whole being. The tradition of wearing and crafting jewelry is as old as civilization itself. The art of making terracotta jewelry is an example of this age-old Indian tradition.
Some historical facts:
Terracotta jewelry is one of the oldest forms of handcrafted ornaments in the world and has been popular since the time of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa civilizations. Numerous terracotta statues, figurines and ornaments have been exhumed from the remains of this profound civilization. The word Terracotta itself means ‘’baked earth’’ and these jewelry pieces are crafted using natural clay from the riverbeds.
Handcrafted jewelry is an integral part of the Indian culture and fashion. Terracotta artistry runs strong in our culture due to its nurturing by indigenous craftsmen for thousands of years. In rural areas across India, especially in tribal regions, this art form is actively practiced even today. Bishnupur and Pushkar produce some of the most awe-striking pieces of terracotta ornaments.
The earthy beauty of these jewelry pieces, the authenticity of the manufacturing processes and the strong connection to our roots are some of the reasons why these clay jewels are in style even today.
Traditional process of crafting terracotta jewelry:
Every jewelry piece is unique and portrays the creativity of the artisan who crafts it. The fact that clay can be molded into so many different and intricate designs is fascinating!
Firstly artisans collect good quality absorbent clay from the river beds. This clay is then purified from its impurities, dried, broken up into fine chunks and then soaked in water. The clay laden water is filtered to remove impurities and fine clay particles are allowed to settle down at the bottom of the container. After draining the water from above, the clay is dried under natural air.
The prepped clay is cast into different shapes and further dried. However, metal attachments, like earring loops, are fused with the wet clay before it dries.
The next step in baking the clay molds in kilns for at least 5 hours.
Emerging from the kilns, terracotta jewelry has the distinctive reddish-brown color. They are painted in vibrant colors and embellished with beads, chains, etc.
Why terracotta jewelry is in fashion?
Natural: Terracotta jewelry can make its wearer feel close to Mother Nature as they are crafted from pure and natural clay and exude a rustic appeal.
Eco-friendly: Unlike machine made articles, every handmade terracotta jewelry piece is distinct. Its design is minimalist yet modern.
Longevity: The baking process makes these clay ornaments highly durable and water proof and hence wearers needn’t worry about their longevity.
Non-allergic: Being made of good quality natural clay, terracotta jewelry is safe on skin and doesn’t cause itching or discomfort to wearers.
In the past jewelry was all about shining metals and gaudy designs. But preferences have changed over time. Modern generation wants accessories that are chic, minimalist and natural. Hence, terracotta ornaments have become a favorite with the contemporary culture. They look breathtaking when worn with traditional sarees, anarkalis, kurtis and salwars suits. They also complement western wear very well and help wearers make an eye-catching fusion style-statement!
Next time you are shopping for accessories, why not give terracotta a try! Myroots.desi brings you an exquisite collection of terracotta jewelry online in rich earthy shades and dynamic designs! Buy terracotta jewelry online from our store and avail exclusive discounts.