Wonders of Clay- Terracotta Jewelry

The dearth of adornments in my jewelry box, that somehow never seem enough, is what drove me to roam madly around Delhi streets in search of exquisite accessories. The beaded, artifact-like jewelry caught my eye and became an instant favorite for the rest of my days!

An inherent love for beauty has always been common among human beings. As I have previously written, jewelry is perhaps the most popular expression splendor, life and all things alike. A five thousand- year old fashion now, decking up oneself has been a ritual among women and men off all ethnicities, catering to the diverse trends and styles prevalent over the world.

Even with numerous options to choose from, my fingers picked up a fine piece of terracotta; a type of jewelry that has been trending in fashion circles since ages. It is safe to say that this art- that one encounters at least once in their lifetime, is one of the oldest crafts of India. It is also evident from the plentiful artifacts unearthed at excavation sites!

Terracotta first saw the light of day during the Harappan and Mohenjodaro civilizations, the periods of discovery and self-exploration. Needless to say, the art has been flourishing since the birth of the Indus Valley civilization itself! The etymology of the word suggests ‘cooked earth’, aptly suiting the process of creating a piece of Terracotta art. The materials used for making daily kitchenware and utilities can also be molded to create delicate and elegant jewelry.

Often associated with a ritualistic aspect, excavations have revealed several traces of jewellery, dating back to times immemorial. Ornaments such as earrings, ear studs, necklaces, pendants and bracelets have been found with vivid descriptions of the deities then worshiped. Some of the artifacts also possessed elaborate descriptions of artistic jewelry on them. The ornaments then created can be rightly characterized as being way ahead of their time; through processes unheard of and materials never used before.

The industry was later full developed to its fullest in West Bengal, from where on the art of making jewelry out of it became famous in the Southern states of India like Chennai, Madurai, Trichy ad Coimbatore. The process of creating it is relatively labour-intensive, owing to age- old methods that have also let it maintain its original charm and grace. The beautiful colours that the pieces might take- pink, grey, white, etc, through the firing process of the clay are often retained; sometimes being hand-painted upon to complement western as well as traditional outfits.

With its rural and ethnic appeal, terracotta jewelry failed to fall out of fashion at any point. A key favourite among college-goers, it is seen being sported and in vogue even today. Products famous today include necklaces, chokers, earrings, bangles, danglers and pendants. Diverse finishes are given to the products- they are often painted, carved, embedded and embellished with stones and beads or embossed with patterns and traditional shapes. To blend in with the contemporary scenario, abstract patterns and shapes can also be easily found.

Make your way to the perfect way to satiate the thirst for reasonable and beautiful terracotta jewellery. Get yours at Tjori!

ORGINALLY WRITTEN FOR: www.tjori.com