America-based jewellery designer Priyadarshini Himatsingka was raised in Kolkata, the cultural seat of India, and was inclined towards all things artistic since her childhood. The world of design was not new for her, as she belonged to a family of textile designers.
“I was a literary person, who was interested in arts and photography,” she recalls. At 11, she moved to The Valley School in Bangalore and later, she went on to complete her education at Parsons in New York City. Her learning curve was on the rise, and she went on to earn degrees in Photography and Philosophy at NYU. Finally, she studied Jewellery & Metals at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) – a calling that was too strong to ignore.
In 2002, Priyadarshini founded her studio in Providence, Rhode Island, USA, to create skilfully rendered collections in silver, gold, or a combination of the two. Styled in a simple way, Priyadarshini’s lightweight collections also have a distinct touch of old-fashioned grace. Most of the pieces that she makes are meant for daily wear. “I make jewellery for how it looks, and use diamonds once in a while. For a vintage feel, I use old-fashioned cuts, rose cuts and polkis,” she states. Diamonds are used to beautify a piece as the focus is on the design alone.
All her jewellery is handmade and she is very particular about the finish. “We file, saw, oxidise, hammer, solder, wax, and burnish, and really pay attention to the details.”
The designer prefers not to work on thematic collections as she finds the exercise creatively constricting. “I make just one piece or a series of pieces at any given time. It is just that innate desire to create at that moment – an inexplicable force, which is purely instinctive,” she explains, adding, “most artists are motivated, but some weeks are creative, some are less. Our minds never shut down.”
The place that she loves to be in the most is her high-ceilinged studio that is bathed in bright light. Music wafts through the radio, as everyone is immersed in sketching or bringing to life designs that are still on paper. Sometimes though, the studio reverberates with the sounds of hammers clanking, and hand files swishing… “I love going to the studio. It has a lot of energy and the atmosphere is happy and creative,” says the artist.
A woman of multiple interests, Priyadarshini loves to travel, keep abreast of politics, read poems, spend time with her children and cook. Above all, she values honesty and integrity. “I care a lot about how we make the pieces,” she asserts.