Tuesday, 24 April 2012

INDIAN KUNDAN JEWELRY

Kundan JewelryDuring Mughal period, the art of kundan work reached Rajasthan from Delhi. Later on, craftsmen from the different part of the country migrated to the place and made Rajasthan a hub of Kundankari. Rulers and feudal lords gave patronage to the art and it developed into perfection. Today, Kundankari is known the world over, with Rajasthan serving as its epicenter. Kundankari is basically done on gold and silver jewelry. The beauty of kundan work lies in the precise setting of stones into kundan and the overall look of the ornament.

Traditional kundan jewellery has stones encrusted on one side and colorful and intricate meenakari on the reverse. The entire technique of Kundankari lies in the skillful setting of gems and stones in gold, which is rarely solid. Holes are cut for the gems, engraving is carried out and the pieces are enameled. The core of the ornament is made out of lac, a natural resin. Later, lac is inserted into the hollow parts and is then visible from the front, through the holes left for the gems. Highly refined gold or kundan is used to cover the lac and gems are then pushed into the kundan.

To increase the strength of the joints and to give it a smooth finish, more kundan is applied. Kundankari is such a specialized work that it is carried by a group of craftsmen, each carrying out a specific task. The chiterias make the basic design, the ghaarias are responsible for engraving and making holes, meenakari or enameling is done by the enameller and the goldsmith takes care of the Kundan or gold. The jadiyas or stone setters, set stones such as jade, agate, garnet, emerald, rock crystal, topaz, amethyst, and spinel into kundan.

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