Report on Study Tour for the Jewellery Design
Study tour plays a vital role during a course of an education. JD Institute strongly believes it helps the student to think in a better way and out of the box. It is said that the more you travel the more experience and knowledge you gain. The JEDIIIANS of Jewellery Diploma course, Bangalore had a 4 day Educational trip to the pink city in search of the amazing traditional jewellery, understanding the export business and Gemstones.
OBJECTIVE OF THE TOUR
The main purpose of the study tour to Jaipur was to:
- Visit factories that manufacture and export jewellery Get an opportunity to learn about the practices and processes widely used in the jewellery industry
- Derive inspiration from Jaipur’s rich history and have a cultural immersion experience
- Develop relationships and identify opportunities in the jewellery and gemstones industry
- Gain insights into the present conditions and practices concerning gemstone cutting and jewellery manufacturing in Jaipur
SUNDAY, 18TH MARCH 2018
Our flight from Bangalore to Jaipur took off at 6:05 am. Post checking into the hotel on arrival, we had breakfast and visited a Blue pottery manufacturing unit in Sanganer.
Jaipur blue pottery is glazed and low-fired. The dough for the pottery is prepared by mixing quartz stone powder, powdered glass, Multani Mitti, borax, gum and water. The pottery is usually decorated with bird and other animal motifs. The colour palette is restricted to blue derived from the cobalt oxide, green from the copper oxide and white, though other non-conventional colours, such as yellow and brown are sometimes included.
The process of making blue pottery is tedious and time-consuming. The dough is rolled and flattened and put into moulds. A design is made of the dried vessel and the colouring is done by using oxides of various metals. What gives the final touch is a coating of glaze with powdered glass, borax, zinc oxide, potassium nitrate and Boric acid. This mixture is melted and cooled and finally, the prepared products are heated in the closed kiln at temperatures of 800 to 850 degrees Celsius.
After spending a few hours at the blue pottery unit and painting a few tiles we left to have a meal at Cafe Bae.
MONDAY, 19TH MARCH 2018
Breakfast at the hotel was followed by a visit to City Palace. The palace grounds have an impressive and vast array of courtyards, gardens and buildings. The highlights of the palace were the Diwan-i-Aam and the weapons museum. We also got to see the techniques of Tarakashi and silk weaving.
We had lunch at the famous LMB sweet shop at Johari bazaar. Post lunch, we walked around the bazaar that is famous for its silver and gemstone shops. Here, we got an idea about the pricing and designs of jewellery as well as gemstones.
At 6 pm, we visited an export house that also retails under the label – The V collection. We met with their team that included designers as well as process managers. We saw the entire process of making silver as well as fashion jewellery from metal casting to crafting and finishing. We also had the opportunity to talk to the managing director about his business, design inspiration and the international jewellery market. We were then shown finished products of all their popular designs.
TUESDAY, 20TH MARCH 2018
We started the day with a visit to Hawa Mahal which sits on the edge of the City Palace. It is constructed of red and pink sandstone and has a unique honeycomb design with small windows that allowed royal ladies to observe everyday life and festivals celebrated in the street below without being seen since they had to obey the strict rules of “purdah”. This architectural feature also allowed cool air to pass through, thus making the whole area more pleasant during the high temperatures in summer.
With Jaipur being known for the cutting and polishing of precious and semiprecious gemstones, visiting a unit that specialized in these processes was next on our agenda. Here, we got to interact with the craftsmen, see the tools used and examine samples of Rutilated quartz, green onyx, pearls.etc. Post this, we visited two units where craftsmen worked on silver in casted and handmade processes.
We then visited a lady who showed us the process making Lac Bangles. These are custom made for clients by adjusting the bangle to the desired size and ornamenting them with the preferred beads, stones, crystals and other embellishments. Once broken, they can easily be rejoined by mild heating and tender fabrication over the wooden mould.
TUESDAY, 20TH MARCH 2018
We were taken to an artisan who did handpainted Meenakari work and we saw samples of buttons, earrings and necklaces with intricate Meena work. The designs comprised a pattern of birds and animals on floral backgrounds in pink, blue, green, yellow and red. Gold has been used traditionally for Meenakari Jewellery as it holds the enamel better, lasts longer and its lustre brings out the colours of the enamels. Silver and brass are used more commonly for jewellery and artefacts.
We then visited a fashion jewellery wholesaler who sold earrings, bangles, rings, necklaces and findings in brass and alloys.
Post this, we got to see a wide range of block print fabrics, fashion jewellery and leather products at Bapu Bazaar. At the bazaar, we also got to taste some of Jaipur’s famous chaats.
WEDNESDAY, 21ST MARCH 2018
After breakfast, we drove to Jal Mahal situated in the middle of Man Sagar Lake. After a quick viewing of the palace, we visited Amer fort. The attractive, opulent palace is laid out on four levels, each with a courtyard. The highlights of the fort were the courtyards, the Sukh Niwas and the Sheesh Mahal with its intricate details and exquisite craftsmanship.
In the afternoon, we visited Jaigarh fort. Situated on a hill, it overlooks Amer fort and features a cannon named “Jaivana”, which was manufactured in the fort precincts and was then the world’s largest cannon on wheels.
Nahargarh Fort was next on our list with an amazing view of the city and of the palace ruins and the asymmetrical stepwells.
In the evening, we visited Artgem factory. Here we got to see silver and gold jewellery is manufactured along with gemstones being set. We also purchased jewellery from their showroom that adjoined the factory.
Later on in the evening, Mr Ajay who deals in gemstones showed us several semi-precious gemstones. We learnt about pricing as well as the quality of these gemstones.
THURSDAY, 22ND MARCH 2018
On our last day in Jaipur, we purchased semi-precious gemstones for our fashion awards projects as well as for our personal use.
Later in the night, exhausted but pleased with the five-day tour, we arrived at Bangalore.
Jaipur has rapidly climbed the value chain into jewellery manufacturing and retail by successfully incorporating experience and tradition with technology and innovation. Being highly export-oriented and labour-intensive, it is a major contributor to employment.
My overall experience of the trip was very satisfying since I had the opportunity to have a closer look and understand the procedures and techniques that we have learnt about during the course. It was very beneficial for me in terms of getting an in-depth understanding of the processing of gemstones and metals, the challenges of these practices and their impact. Although the price of fine jewellery is high, the labour force involved earn very little and work in dangerous and poor conditions. The questions I found myself asking after the study tour to Jaipur, were about sustainability, transparency and awareness around the social and environmental issues associated with precious metals and gemstones.
I believe that this tour was the perfect starting point in my career as a jewellery designer, as it included understanding my role and responsibilities as well as learning about the different aspects of the industry.