This year we have developed a range of brass jewellery which stemmed from my need for a bell necklace! This was inspired by my trek to the Everest region last year, after hearing the bells worn by the yaks and donkeys passing me on the way up and down the mountains, as well as in the temples. I loved the tinkly noise from afar (I now have brass bells and cow bells in the AQ studio as well!) that reminds me of Nepal for sure. It also reminded me of a not very ethical mini harmonica necklace I bought from a vintage shop in Brooklyn when I was working in NY during my university days which I loved and later lost!
I also developed our PANGA necklace and DALLU earrings with shapes inspired by the Nepali bells in the temples both in the mountains and in Kathmandu that I have visited over the years, to complete the range.
When I was in Nepal in May, I visited Raju’s jewellery and metal workshop near Patan to see how they make our small range of brass jewellery. There are four artisans; Kanchan, Tika Ram, Raj Kumar and Jamak, who have around 20 years’ experience in jewellery making and have been working together with Raju as a collective for ten years now.
The wastage cut out pieces are used for smaller designs and then melted to cast the bell for our RANI bell necklace. The artisans can make between 10-15 pieces a day depending on flexible hours they work and they all complete all parts of the process, sharing the order work.
It was lovely to meet the team properly this time, and as it was so hot that day, I got treated to a fresh glass of Lassi from the local shop, cheers to that!