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Indian Jewellery – Thewa

Indian Jewellery – Thewa

Thewa Jewellery” is the most commendable jewellery art that originates from the royal land of Rajasthan. It was originated about hundred and fifty years ago, and it one form of jewellery making that breaks all the conventions. Usually, jewellery is created with designing a base metal like silver or gold and enameling it with meena, kundan, diamonds, or engraving it to create designs, but Thewa art uses molten colored glass as the base, which is embossed with an intricately worked-out sheet of gold.

THEWA is a word from the local Rajasthani language which literally means “SETTING”. Thewa is an art of fusing 23ct gold with multicoloured glass. It is a very detailed and intricate process. A 23ct gold piece is first beaten into a very thin sheet. Intricate designs are inscribed onto these gold sheets using very fine chisel. This gold sheet, called as “Thewa Ki Patti” is fixed to a lac-resin compound spread on a board by slightly warming the lac and then pressing the gold sheet onto it. An open work pattern is pierced thru these gold sheets placed on the lac-resin covered board by knocking off the portions which ultimately creates the intricate design. The gold sheet is gently peeled off by heating it.

The gold patterned sheet is now thoroughly washed and all extra substances are removed with a mild acid. A piece of glass of the same size as the gold pattern is encased in a frame of silver/metal alloy. While it is still hot, the rim of silver/metal alloy and film of gold are delicately slipped over the edge and pressed on to the surface of the glass. The piece is then heated until the gold and the glass are firmly fused together. A thin silver foil is fixed on the other side of the glass to provide the final finish. The flat piece of transparent glass which is used as a background for the gold pattern comes in different colors such as maroon, green, blue & so on suggesting Ruby, Emerald and Sapphire finish.

The design themes used in Thewa art range from floral patterns, Historical mughal courtly scenes, scenes from battles, portraits of queens and hindu mythology, most popular being krishna leela scenes.

Unlike other form of Jewellery the actual value or price of a Thewa Jewellery lies in the skill and the time that goes into hand crafting each incredible piece of jewellery rather than the intrinsic value of gold.

 

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