My jewellery pieces developed in response to our fickle attachment to modern clothing whilst at university in 2005 as way to reduce new material production by devising techniques that allow the reuse of abundantly available materials – such as unwanted clothing. It all started when I began unpicking the woven threads of my mother’s silk sari and combining these coiled and knotted cords with small hand formed beads and rings of porcelain. By re-working an array of textiles evocative of personal and often private histories, materials of sentimental value or simply tired looking, unwanted items of textiles are transformed into special pieces of jewellery through an elegant union of often contrasting raw materials.
In some pieces the original fabrics are left visible, allowing the wearer to feel and remember the origins of the fabric. Through coiling, binding, knotting and hand-stitching lengths of fabric, meticulous cords are individually constructed and sculpted to complement the body. The resulting forms reflect the distinctive weave, colour, fibre and weight of the originating fabric.
The physical act of wearing tactile, sensual forms of jewellery around the body by draping, wrapping and knotting also refer to the origins of the primary sources of materials – the sari, chunnri or scarf – garments that are iconic of traditional uncut cloth. My own personal codes of cultural identity and perceptions of value are reinterpreted from a combined perspective of my Gujarati heritage and Western upbringing and curiosity towards the blending of textile and jewellery practices – from woven gold saris of across India and Persia, the twining of plant fibres and basketry of indigenous people around the world, to the opulent gem encrusted crown jewels of emperors – draw upon the convergence of age-old practices of communication and the symbolic function of cloth, costume and adornment.