In March our studio assistant Hannah decided to go on a trip to India, heading to the northern state of Rajasthan, a place famed for its rich textile and jewellery industry. Starting her travels in the busy and most populated city in the state, Jaipur. This dense city is renowned worldwide for its jewellery trade and it is no surprise considering the mineral rich soils in India, here is where you will see countless jewellery shops filled with vibrant gems of all colours, hand cut and set into sparkling pieces of jewellery.
From here, Hannah travelled down to the religious pilgrimage city of Pushkar, before moving to the regal city of Udaipur. Here is where you will find bright orange sunsets above the lake where the famous floating palace sits.
Within its winding streets you could find colourful cloth and sari districts seamlessly blending into bustling street side jewellery workshops. This is where Hannah found a small workshop with two men front of house, creating beautiful jewellery with gemstones which had been set using Kundan setting.
Kundan is a technique of setting stones or glass into soft shaped settings using 24 carat gold sheet and resin which is then heated and melted, keeping the stones in place.
Video: Kundan Setting has been sourced from the Victoria and Albert museum (link)
Then on to Jodhpur, where the streets were lined with dried fruits, nuts and spices and the impressive fort that was lit at night, loomed over the city below creating quite the backdrop.
Jaisalmer was the final destination, a small desert city near the Pakistani border and a far cry from the bustle of Jaipur but with some of the most impressive lightning and sand storms over the desert.
This one state has everything from mountains to desert and cities to farmland, however throughout her whole trip, watching the jewellers at work in Udaipur was a highlight for Hannah, having a connection to the process yet being able to compare the differences of our way of working using CAD and 3D printers, to their more traditional methods of hand moulding was fantastic.