Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Shopping In Rajasthan

Kundan Meenakari
One of the oldest forms of jewellery made and worn in India is the 24-carat pure gold Kundan jewellery.
Kundan Meenakari is one of the art which is done proudly in Jaipur. This art originated from the Rajputi times and since that Rajasthani people have a kind of monopoly on it. Enameling is an art of using a substance covering the surface of metal, pots or other objects to decorate and beautify them. Enamel is applied when hot and cools to give a hard glossy surface. The Rajputs rulers and royal families of Rajasthan patronized the enameled form of Jewellery which is known today as kundan. Today Jaipur and to some extend Bikaner are the major centres for Kundan. In this art precious stones and very often diamonds, are set into gold artistically creating designs. Enamel work is admired so highly that not only the Jewellery but also the boxes used for the Jewellery and other precious objects, swords, bedrooms tables are decorated with this wonderful work.
Visits to goldsmith’s studios can be organized with the help of Rajasthan Visit who happen to have their head office in the capital (Jaipur) of Rajasthan. We are sure you will find amazing to see these craftsmen working in amazingly low lighted surroundings and using only few basic tools, mostly unsophisticated for the western standard but creating some of the finest valuable items of the wonderful Jewellery world of Rajasthan.
The art of setting the Jewellery in Rajasthan is done with such fine details that its not one craftman who has the commend over the whole work but many specializing in their own filed of jewellery settings. Some of the them are mentioned here in brief:
Chhaterra is a person whose task is to engrave the ground on which the stones setting takes place.
Kundansaaz is a person who sets the uncut stones on the made surface and gives the shape and while cooling the still hot precious material is sat in the final shape while hammering putting gold wire around.
Manihar is person who prepares the enamels that will be poured into the hollows to create the patterns. In Jaipur a whole street is dedicated to the people of this community.
Minakaar is so called enameller who places the enamels and fires them individually.
Nyarriya is a person whose task is to refine the gold. Usually 22 carat gold is used for the making of kundan jewellery. 24 caret would be too delicate.
Patwari is the person who provides the finishing touch in the form of the gold and silk cord required by the wearer and is also responsible for stringing the beads, wherever required in the existing designs.
Sangsaza is the person whose job is to polish, cut and if needed to carve the stone with wished decorative motifs.
Sonar or Sunar is the goldsmith who prepares the bezels and moulds in Gold for setting the stones. He also does the polishing and cleaning of the jewellery once the peace is completed so that way also responsible for the quality control.

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