Unusual Materials: Creating Unique Design Discourse

Stepping out of comfort zone is a fundamental exercise embraced by artists from time to time to flex their creative muscles. ‘Unusual Materials’, the second theme of the 7th edition of The Artisan Awards, encouraged designers to generate a design dialogue between precious metals and commonplace materials like cement, titanium, wood, porcelain, bamboo, slate, meteorite, glass, recycled plastic, leather and more.

Jewellery is meant to evoke emotional responses and underline the beauty of the world surrounding us. Style knows no generational bounds, and the 3 winning and 7 finalist pieces below amply suggest that it’s fun to embrace adventure and adorn oneself with these artful pieces.

GREEN GOLD (Finalist)

The four-finger loopy ring, articulated with white gold employs a less-used combination of green bamboo and wooden beads. The gold ring, covered with bamboo strips, sits across the fingers, and its finials are decorated with a bouquet of wooden beads. Each wooden bead is set with a diamond to add sparkle to the ring. The segment that sits like a ring in the middle finger is topped with a diamond motif. The entire ring is further embellished with diamond-studded rings, mimicking the nodes on a bamboo tree.

Designed by Pratik Jana; Manufactured by Kalista Jewels (I) Pvt. Ltd.




The flexible and lightweight bracelet harmoniously fuses nature’s organic elegance with the minimalistic opulence of black gold, an unorthodox choice to complement the hues of the leaves. The central motif is designed using the preserved sheath of shapely areca palm leaves, which lend an earthy aesthetic to the piece and are cradled by a framework of gold. Areca, symbolic of resilience, forms the main element of the open and curvy graduating bracelet. Cutting across the leaves is a slim line completing the form of the bracelet, embellished with channel-set diamonds. The atypical materials used in the contemporary bracelet spark a conversation about responsible luxury that has a deep connection with the environment.

Designed by Ahalya Vijayakumar; Manufactured by Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers



THE WHEEL OF LIFE (Second Runner-up)

Inspired by the wheel of the famous architectural wonder, the Konark Sun Temple, the stylised spherical earrings employ wood, gold, natural white sapphires, and citrine. The earrings feature elements of the Konark Wheel, centred on white sapphires and citrine, portraying the Konark Chakra or the chariot wheel of the Sun god.  The rotating motion of the sparkling wheel symbolises kala (time), depicting 24 hours in a day. The Kalachakra denotes progress and continual change.

Beautifully carved wood surrounds the central gem-studded motif, adding a bold and contemporary aesthetic to the earrings.

Designed by Dipali Ghadigaonkar; Manufactured by KP Sanghvi Jewels Pvt. Ltd.




The reversible half-and-half cufflinks blend style with innovation. Crafted from fine leather, moss agate, gold and diamonds, the ultra-modern pair of cufflinks features a discreetly positioned SIM card chip tying up fashion and function, past and present, as well as art and technology.

The radiant diamonds and glowing gold exude timeless sophistication, while the inclusion of fine leather and moss agate lends a naturally refined look to the accessory.

The versatile cufflinks can be worn to suit the wearer’s style.

Designed by Aparna Kesarkar; Manufactured by Laxmi Dia Jewel Pvt. Ltd.




Who would have thought pea pods, especially dried ones, could hold such fascination? As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and the dried pea pod takes on a distinctive texture while preserving the pearly peas within.

The unusual unisex brooch, shaped like a curled-up dried pea pod, achieves an organic silhouette through the craftsmanship of wood and yellow gold. The pea pod, serving as a symbol of love, care, and protection, is embellished with peas illustrated with lustrous pearls. Notably, one of these peas is uniquely studded with diamonds, adding an extra touch of elegance. The entire pod is peppered with diamonds creating a captivating outer covering.

Designed by Ananya Soni; Manufactured by Hari Krishna Designs




The crocheted necklace is a veritable tapestry of creativity, densely populated with vibrant coloured lacy blooms of different sizes that captivate the beholder. The mesh blooms are complemented by tiny florets composed using pink rhodium, enhancing the overall allure of the necklace.

The ethereal beauty of this lacy masterpiece is further elevated by the enchanting play of light, as it becomes a canvas for an exquisite display of fine natural diamonds, gemstones, and pearls.

Designed by Jaini Shah; Manufactured by T.J. Impex




An ordinary pistachio shell transforms the pair of earrings into an extraordinary work of art. The core of the pistachio shell is handcrafted to resemble leaves, that are adorned with shades of plique a jour.

Additionally, gold threads are carefully inlaid within the shell.  Tourmaline buds and sapphire fruits add charm to the floral earrings. The meticulous cutting and filing of the shell into smaller petals highlight the skilled artistry involved in fabricating the earrings.

What distinguishes these earrings is their durability, achieved through the inclusion of tough wall cells, making the earrings lightweight and sustainable.

Designed by Anvinda R.P.; Manufactured by Vummidi Bangaru Jewellers



SHALIGRAM (Finalist)

Strung on a slender necklace, the striking pendant crafted in yellow gold mirrors the distinct shape of a Shaligram, or ammonite mollusc fossils, originating from extinct shelled cephalopods that perished about 66 million years ago. The Shaligram holds a sacred significance as it is venerated as the embodiment of Vishnu, the deity of Preservation. Ammonites, belonging to the subclass of extinct marine animals, contribute to the intriguing narrative.

The tight wound, spiral design of the pendant is enhanced with a modern touch through the inclusion of natural leather and natural diamonds. This fusion of traditional symbolism and contemporary elements translates the pendant into a sophisticated piece.

Designed by Kameshwar Muthukumar; Manufactured by AVR Swarnamahal




Ever pondered the transformation of a classic tie when worn on a vacation to the French Riviera? Enter The Denim Tie Affair. Inspired by the classic tie, this necklace reinvents the regular accessory with a novel material – denim. Crafted from denim micarta, a durable and distinctive material composed of layers of denim fabric and resin, it lends a captivating texture in various shades of blue. The design celebrates the enduring nature of denim, set with gold, and adorned with diamonds and sapphires.

Curious about denim micarta? Strips or pieces of denim fabric are arranged in layers, and resin is applied evenly to saturate the denim layers repeatedly for the desired thickness. The stacked layers are then compressed using a mould. Once cured, the denim micarta is removed from the mould, cut into shape, and sanded to achieve a blend of texture and smoothness.

Designed by Aditi Gupta; Manufactured by Chokshi Vachharaj Makanji & Co. (CVM)



The whimsical necklace is crafted from a stack of obsolete CD discs paired with delicate floral petals and leaves. Fashioned into colourful florets, the CDs are accented with diamonds. The garden of necklace, now in full bloom, serves as an enchanting sanctuary for graceful butterflies to alight upon.

This unconventional blend of discarded technology and botanical beauty narrates a story of renewal and metamorphosis. The once-forgotten CDs find new life, not only as adornments but also as symbolic representations of transformation and the ever-renewing cycle of nature.

Designed by Aanshi Sanghvi (Student, IIG); Manufactured by Sabine Jewellers

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