Mumbai-based jewellery designer Apurva Kothari’s hidden secret is his mastery in integrating classic and contemporary motifs in his high-end creations that are reminiscent of vintage styles. Amplified by handpicked rose cuts, fancy-shaped diamonds and luminous gemstones, Apurva’s one-off creations are influenced by Mughal motifs and Indian art.
The founder and creative head of the high-end jewellery brand SAVAAB (meaning a heavenly reward for doing noble deeds) reveals the arduous but immensely satisfying process behind the birth of each delectable jewellery piece in his atelier.
Sharply dressed Apurva Kothari has a corporate air about him. He earned a degree in Finance from Carnegie Mellon University, US, but a deep-rooted passion for design pulled him back to his family’s diamond business. The journey from being a diamantaire to a jewellery designer was a short one.
Around a decade and a half ago, he identified an untapped market for niche, couture jewellery in India. That led him to establish SAVAAB, a fine jewellery brand that is recognised for its noteworthy designs. Apurva is a hands-on designer involved in the entire process, from conception to creation.
His virtuosity lies in playing with forms and proportion, which he believes are the heart of any design.
What sets you apart as a designer?
A perfectly drawn design is half the battle won. But then to find the finest gemstones, which are not always easy to get, is the next challenge. The blend of metal, gems and form are essential to make a design come alive. My aim is to better myself at every next step that I take. So, be it design or finish – I want to keep improving and improvising, and I like to outdo myself every single time.
Surely there are difficult moments when you are developing concepts. Re-cutting and setting fancy-cut diamonds, soft gemstones and pearls is always challenging, especially when one is working on a specific free-form template. In the process of executing unique designs we occasionally damage good quality gemstones and this can be very disappointing — but, when we eventually achieve the desired result the feeling is indescribable. I’m on a perpetual quest for perfection, and my strength lies in capturing details while transforming design ideas onto paper and then bringing them to life along with my craftsmen.
Has the pandemic affected your creative process?
The current circumstances haven’t hindered my creative process and the designs continue to speak a unique language that’s well appreciated by connoisseurs. I have stayed true to my core values, and have retained my focus on purity of design, quality of construction and an innovative twist.
Having more time to myself has allowed me to think of design beyond the realm of jewellery. I look at a more holistic angle, seeking pleasure and inspiration from the simplest of creations of Mother Nature to those that are technically more complex, man-made designs like automobiles and mechanical watches.
Your favourite metal seems to be gold…
Yes,18-karat gold is my metal of choice for its intrinsic value and pliable nature, and I also hope to work with platinum and titanium soon.
Tell us about your recent lines.
I started the brand with a lot of floral patterns and have recently begun to experiment with fauna. In addition to proportion, this requires a perspective of capturing motion, like a bird taking flight. It’s very interesting as you have to work with several gemstones in order to create this effect and so, every minute detail matters.
Your designs showcase interplay of unusual gem cuts. Have you introduced any newer ones in your recent collection?
I enjoy amalgamating multiple gemstones to deliver something unique. Within the given palette of diamonds, pearls and precious coloured gemstones, shapes have taken on an even more important meaning in my recent designs. Innovative cuts like the tulip, specially angled baguettes and customised rose cuts among others are allowing me to highlight the artistic touch in my jewels that I always crave for.