All About Terracotta Jewelry - Handcrafted Tribal Jewelry by Indian Terracotta Artisans
If you talk about the most natural form of jewelry that is close to nature, the first one that comes to mind is perhaps Terracotta. There is nothing better to define rustic charm than terracotta. The earthenware range of kitchenware and home decorative pieces are popular. Terracotta jewelry trends are resurfacing and there is something uniquely charming about these natural clay ornaments.
A brief history of terracotta art and jewelry:
Numerous terracotta statues and figurines were excavated from the remains of the ancient city of Mohenjo-Daro. This is one of the rich cultural art forms that have hardly ever lost their popularity. With the ever increasing fame of terracotta, tribal jewelry made of baked clay is steadily on the rise. In many Indian villages, especially the tribal zones, there are artisans who have continued to keep this art form alive and running. Bishnupur and Pushkar are two regions which are the most famous centers of terracotta art pieces.
In India, where various forms of jewelry are integral parts of the traditional fashion, terracotta jewelry has been running in our culture for ages. Terracotta jewelry has been part of the traditional jewelry in India as well as in Bangladesh. Making terracotta jewelry has reached far and wide. You could today make terracotta jewelry yourself. There are numerous online tutorials to help you learn the process of making terracotta jewelry. But nothing matches the originality of those handcrafted by the artisans in the Indian villages. For they have been working for ages following the traditional jewelry making processes.
The process of making terracotta jewelry:
The fact that you could flexibility mold clay into an infinite variety of designs is one thing that makes this process even more interesting. The final piece of jewelry you get is all dependent on the creativity of the artisan who makes it. Here are the basic steps involved in the making of terracotta jewelry:
Prepping the clay:
Choosing the perfect textured absorbent clay- From fertile river beds, artisans gather clay and prepare them for the whole process. The collected clay is first cleaned and all the impurities are removed. The clay is then dried and broken and immersed in water. The mixture is filtered through a sieve to remove coarser impurities. And the finest particles are allowed to settle down. After draining the excess water, the fine clay is air dried.
For the terracotta jewelry, the prepped clay is then molded into the desired shapes. For jewelry, especially like earrings, metal threads or solder wire and other metal fixtures as and how required are attached to the molded piece when it is still wet. The piece is then allowed to air dry.
The dried piece of jewelry is passed through the final baking process by placing it in the baking kiln. The kiln is enclosed so as to retain the temperature and the process is a slow baking process that goes for hours. After around 5 hours, the finished product then gets the typical reddish color that terracotta objects possess.
The final stage is to add a finishing touch to the jewelry. It is painted in lively colors and the hooks, chains as well as the embellishments are added.
Why terracotta jewelry is the best:
Here are some factors that make terracotta jewelry unique:
- There is nothing that defines “ethnic” as terracotta jewelry
- No other jewelry possess the minimalistic appeal of terracotta
- For a perfect blend of vintage and trendy, terracotta jewelry is the best bet
- You can have one to match every outfit as they come in a variety of brilliant colors
- Each piece of terracotta jewelry is handcrafted
- Terracotta jewelry is eco-friendly
- The best part is that terracotta jewelry is the one jewelry that is safe even on the most sensitive skin.
- Terracotta jewelry is lightweight
- As it is lightweight and safe on skin, it is one of the safest choices of jewelry even for the kids.
When you buy terracotta jewelry from a retailer who gets it directly from the artisans in Indian villages, you are encouraging the survival and growth of this ancient cultural heritage of our country.
Tips to make a style statement with terracotta jewelry:
Jewelry, in the past, was predominantly about lustrous metals and gemstones. This was also when jewelry was just a status symbol. But fashion has changed the way we perceive jewelry. The present generations prefer minimalistic fashion. Chic terracotta jewelry is one of the most popular trends this year especially when it comes to styling your ethnic outfits. Here are few ways to redefine your style with terracotta jewelry:
- With a classic cotton saree like a sambalpuri saree, wear a terracotta set with simpler thread-chained necklaces and jhumkas in colors to match your saree for a more elegant look for a casual occasion.
- Wear gold tones and grandly embellished terracotta sets with your saree or anarkali suit to add a touch of sophistication for any special occasion.
- Smaller terracotta jhumkas and terracotta pendant necklaces are great with kurtas and kurtis for a more casual everyday look.
- Rust colored, and more earthy tones, as well as contemporary styled earrings in funky shapes, could be worn even with a western outfit for a bolder look.
The versatility of terracotta jewelry makes it great to be worn with any outfit and for any occasion.
Caring for your terracotta jewelry:
With a minimum amount of care, your terracotta jewelry and continue looking as good as new for a long time.
- Every time you wear your terracotta jewelry, clean it with a soft cloth while you put it back
- Avoid wearing it in the shower or while you swim
- Keep terracotta jewelry away from other metal jewelry to avoid scratches
- Do not let your jewelry come in contact with any harsh chemicals or alcohol. This is mainly to retain the external finish of the jewelry.
- Terracotta is ultimately clay, so it tends to break under pressure. It is hardened clay and so it is not too brittle but under too much stress it tends to develop cracks. So handle your terracotta jewelry gently.
You can see that it needs just a minimum amount of care. These earthy beauties are current trends. So how many do you have in your wardrobe?
Check our large collection of traditional terracotta jewelry in contemporary and tribal designs which make perfect gifts for any occasion- for your loved ones or even for yourself. We bring them to you straight from the artisans, handcrafted specially with pleasant organic colors that are completely safe on the skin.