Jaipur is a Royal city that is famous for its legendary rulers. Its close association with Royal family has made the city an epicenter of jewelry craft. The traditional artisans of Jaipur worked closely with the royal clans and were patronized by them. Over a period of time they developed some authentic regional designs that are popular even today. A strong Mughal influence can clearly be seen on the jewelry of Jaipur because of the close association of Rajput rulers and Mughal emperors.
Here are some of the most famous jewelry craft of Jaipur:
The art of Thewa jewelry reached its zenith during Mughal ages. The artisans of the city have honed their craft skills over several centuries. They employ a laborious, authentic process for crafting Thewa jewelry that demands high precision, utmost creativity and deep patience. Basically the gold sheets and molten glass is used to emboss the jewelry that gives it a unique authentic look. Thewa jewelry is available in vast array of designs and patterns. It has a very strong regional character.
Kundan jewelry is closely associated with traditional weddings, festivals and other auspicious occasion of Jaipur. In this craft the colored gemstones are meticulously set in pure gold base. This gold is meticulously decorated luxuriously to give it an accentuated presence. There are several phases involved in the whole process and each phase is known by a different name.
Meenakari School of jewelry is one of excellent examples of jewelry art. In fact this art is used in collaboration with several other design forms like Thewa, Kundan and Jadau. The art is not native to the region. It was practiced in Lahore in old times. Impressed by their artistic excellence Maharaja Mansingh invited some of the crafts persons from Lahore who trained the crafts persons of Jaipur about this jewelry craft. Inquisitive by nature and blessed by creativity the artisans not only learned the ropes of the art in quite a short period of time but also developed their own regional style without disturbing the basic structure of minakari. In fact many of present artisans belong to the family of those erstwhile crafts person.
The intricate designing involves multiple steps and each step needs a very high level of care and a keen eye in details. Basically a gold or silver base is used to be filled with various colors that give a vibrant look to the ornament. For silver the colors like green, yellow or blue are preferred. The gold has no such limitation and a wide variety of different colors can be used to give the gold base a unique look.
Jadau Jewelry is another craft that has a close relation with various auspicious occasions like festivals, Marriages, etc. Different gemstones and beads are used in the cart of jadau jewelry. These gems are of vibrant hues and different cuts. Each piece of Jadau jewelry is a signature style that shows the individual creativity of the creator. In this process the gold is first heated on high temperatures to soften it. Once it attains the required softness the beads or gems are carefully fixed into the gold. One thing to note here is that no adhering agent is used to keep them fixed. As the Gold is in molten state the gem or bead is naturally adhered to it once the metal cools down. However it requires a great amount of precision and experience to fix the gems or bead in the correct way.