What comes to mind when talking about Indian jewellery? For sure the first answer is this: gold. The Indian passion for gold has ancient roots and continues even today, but Bharathi Raviprakash does not think the same.
Raviprakash is an Indian accessories designer focused on precious stones. It was the end of the 90s when she noticed a woman in Chennai trimmed in gold from head to feet: wearing a saree with gold borders, gold belts and gold chandelier earrings. She recognised that this style didn’t suit her tastes at all. Indeed what she was, and is still, looking for is glittering accessories that do not necessarily include gold. She started to focus on different stones, like onyx, amethyst, blue topaz and the beauty of these pieces turned her in a jewellery designer.
Her background includes different courses in gemology and jewellery designing at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in London. After her studies, in 2002 she opened her first studio in Chennai, called Studio Tara, displaying 30 different pieces of designer jewellery.
Recently, she just showcased her new collection called Eternal, with the main theme “raw elegance”. Indeed Raviprakash has one goal: make people understand the beauty and value of untreated stones. In India this concept is really rare and not deeply appreciated yet, but amateurs already know it quite well. Thus her intention is to make accessible this idea to a bigger range of people and make them understand the value of natural stones for the jewellery industry.
In a country where gold is still the protagonist of this industry, showing new ways of dressing up and completing an outfit with accessories, that are different themselves and to embellish a simple dress, is not so easy. However, this designer accepted the challenge, leveraging on the peculiarity of her creations and above this, her mind-set. Indeed she is accustomed to thinking outside the box: for example for an illustration of a blue stone she used an old hand. Talking about it she says indeed: “I don’t see wrinkles when I see her hand. I see experience. I see a wealth of information. And most of all, I see a story, of a life well lived”.
Talking about stones she underlines the importance of maintaining them at their natural status, without altering it, because mother nature wanted them to look in this way and we should respect it. The most important thing is to choose the right metal and the right structure to highlight the beauty of a particular stone; the design of the jewellery must be meant to enhance the stone and not to constitute the focus of attention.
Different designers recognised the importance of what she is doing, for example Abraham & Thakore used the same concept for their line, characterised by black and white clothes made with hand-embroideries and natural fibres.
Moreover Raviprakash’s creations have been used for bird cages to change the focus of the display and different miniaturised and hand painted chessboards have been commissioned by Sharan Apparao of the Apparao Galleries in Chennai and are part of their collection.
Source: The Hindu