Meenakari Jewelry is another specialty of the states artisans. Precious and semiprecious gems are embellished into gold or silver jewelry and the meal itself is enameled with bright colors. Introduced to the states jewelers by Raja Mansingh of Amer, this style of jewelry crafting was originally discovered by the skilled workmen of Lahore. Honed to perfection by the jewelry makers of the state, Meenakari jewelry now bears the unmistakable stamp of Rajasthani expertise.
Jaipur is the hub of this skill and the city is famous for the intricate and bright masterpieces produced here. Other places famous for enameled jewelry in Rajasthan are Alwar, Pratapgarh and Nathdwara. The cloisonne style of metalwork is practiced by the skilled workmen of Jaipur.
The art requires higher skill and its intricacy calls for application of technical mindset. In Meenakari, the piece of metal on which the work is to be done, is fixed on a lac stick. Designs of flowers, birds, fish etc are engraved on it. This leads to the creation of walls or grooves, to hold color. Enamel dust, of required color, is then poured into the grooves and each color is fired individually. The heat of the furnace melts the color and the colored liquid gets spread equally into the groove. This process is repeated with each color.
Subsequently, each color is individually fired. Colors, which are most heat resistant, are applied first, as they are re-fired with each additional color. Once the last color has been fired, the object is cooled and burnished or polished with agate. The depth of the grooves, filled with different colors, determines the play of light. Silver and gold are used for the base of Meenakari. Choice of colors, in case of silver, has to be green, yellow or blue, as these are the colors which stick with it. As for gold, all the colors can be applied to it and this is also the reason why the metal is preferred for Meenakari jewellery.
The meenakar often works with a team of craftsmen. As meenakari is generally done on the reverse side of kundan jewellery, the meenakar has to work with the goldsmith, the engraver or ghaaria, the designer or chitteria and jadiya who applies the gems on the kundan or gold. The finished produced is a marvel of the expertise of these different craftsmen and their techniques.
Jaipur is the main center of meenakari. Traditional Mughal colours like red, green and white, dominate the art of enameling from Jaipur. The rich, ruby red color used here is highly sought after.
Nathdwara, Bikaner and Udaipur are also famous for their silver meenakari. Pratapgarh is known for glass enamelling.
Where to Shop Meenakati Jewellery in Jaipur
Johari Bazar, M.I. Road of Jaipur showcases the exclusive creations in Meenakari Jewellery and these ornamentations are must-buys for the tourists of the state.
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