Adorn is a bi-monthly magazine dedicated to luxury jewellery

AKANSHA SETHI’S UNORTHODOX ARTISTRY

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Why did you choose jewellery?

My parents’ burgeoning art collection has exposed me to the world of art and design from an early age, ranging from jewellery, artefacts to paintings. My parents’ passion for collecting art has manifested itself into a global business, which has required them to travel the world in search of ‘beautiful objects’. I have joined them on their journey throughout my childhood to the present day. My interest in jewellery was sparked from visiting antique and exclusive art shows during my childhood. As a child when getting ready, my mother used to let me choose the jewellery pieces I wanted to wear. When I see those pieces now, they transport me to special moments of my childhood. I aspire to create an adornment that is timeless, conveys a narrative and evokes emotions which can be passed through generations. I feel that out of all fashion forms, jewellery is the only object that fulfils all these criteria.

Handcrafted 18-karat gold-plated silver pendant with detachable earrings is set with a lapis lazuli base scattered with dark ruby zircon flowers.

Handcrafted 18-karat gold-plated silver pendant with detachable earrings is set with a lapis lazuli base scattered with dark ruby zircon flowers.

You graduated with top marks from Goldsmiths, University of London. After that did you intern with a brand, or did you start your own brand?

The diverse nature of my learning at Goldsmiths University allowed me to explore different art forms. As a result, I did a variety of work placements over the past few years – ranging from textiles to graphics and designing dinnerware for William Edwards.

Whilst doing my internship at William Edwards, I was asked to create a design for a unique teaware collection for a prestigious client. I started sketching initial ideas and found myself constantly drawn to pieces of jewellery, which I had come across in the past. The more I drew, the more I enjoyed exploring a variety of different ideas for potential jewellery pieces. I soon arrived at designing a tassel to adorn the teaware which was highly appreciated by the company and put into production. Beyond completion of this project, I continued to develop my sketches which led me to realise that the next manifestation of my ideas would be in the world of jewellery.

During my childhood, I expressed my ideas through paintings and graphite sketches, which helped develop my skills as an artist. Going from a fine art background to a design degree allowed me to visualise and express my ideas through a range of mediums. By the time I had completed my last work experience and subsequently my degree, I felt that I had the skill set required to continue developing my ideas for jewellery design. I considered options for the next step of my journey – attending a master’s course or gaining experience by working for a reputed design firm. However, I had accumulated a wide range of design ideas and a voice inside form the backbone of my current jewellery collection.

What generally inspires you to make jewellery?

I seek inspiration from the places I have travelled to and by studying art movements, which have shaped my understanding of design. My most recent collection Bougainvillea was inspired by my last trip to Jaipur. Buildings in the city were festooned by brightly coloured bougainvillea flowers creating swathes of undulating pink and orange. I have captured that moment by representing the shape of the windows and lattice work of Hawa Mahal with branches of bougainvillea flowers. The Deco collection was inspired by my ancestral home in Indore and from our heirloom photographs of my grandparents, who have lived the art deco period.

The dramatic silver ring from the Birds of Paradise collection, transforms into detachable 18-karat black gold and silver cocktail earrings, set with green emeralds encircling cabochon tanzanite.

The dramatic silver ring from the Birds of Paradise collection, transforms into detachable 18-karat black gold and silver cocktail earrings, set with green emeralds encircling cabochon tanzanite.

What according to you is the prime function of jewellery?

My jewellery is not just an adornment but a piece of art, which gives immense joy to the wearer. It complements and connects with the individual’s personality. The wearer should fall in love with the ethos of the narrative and the design. I want my collections to evoke fond memories not just for them, but also for future generations.

The dramatic silver ring from the Birds of Paradise collection, transforms into detachable 18-karat black gold and silver cocktail earrings, set with green emeralds encircling cabochon tanzanite.

The dramatic silver ring from the Birds of Paradise collection, transforms into detachable 18-karat black gold and silver cocktail earrings, set with green emeralds encircling cabochon tanzanite.

You are a millennial designer designing for the millennial. What does this segment like in terms of jewellery? What motivates them to buy a bejewelled piece when there are so many other overwhelming options that vie for the consumer’s wallet share?

Due to the current fashion trends, I feel that people are looking for jewellery to be more distinct and personal. With the rapidly changing jewellery trends it’s starting to become similar to the fast-moving clothing industry – causing a rise in costume jewellery. I think people will prefer to invest in a piece which is multi-functional and could either be worn in a formal or casual setting.

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