For Centuries, 75-YO Rajasthani Artist’s Family Has Handcrafted Jewels For Royalty

meenakari

Rajasthan’s Jaswant Kumar Meenakar’s family has been creating stunning Meenakari jewels and art pieces for centuries. They exclusively handcraft the jewels for royalty to date.

Popular among the brides-to-be looking for a royal look, the timeless Meenakari jewellery of Rajasthan has always been in demand. For generations, Jaswant Kumar Meenakar’s family has been beautifully crafting these stunning jewels.

The 75-year-old continues to create these stunning pieces while striving to keep this traditional art alive. “Meena means colours; Kari translates to work. So, Meenakari means working with colours,” says Jaswant.

Meenakari is an ancient form of enamel painting on metal; it originated in Persia. Popularised in India by the Mughals, this jewellery set Jaipur markets abuzz in the 16th century. Even today, Rajasthan artisans specialise in this art form.

Crafting Meenakari jewels and handicrafts takes great skill; the process is intricate and time-consuming. Traditional colours — such as red, green, white, and the rich ruby colour, dominate the art of enamelling.

It involves decorating a metal piece by coating it with a paste or powder, which is then heated to extremely high temperatures to fuse the metal with the powder. This creates a colourful coating and results in visually appealing artwork.

This tradition of enamelling has been running in Jaswant’s family for centuries. His family exclusively makes Meenakari jewels for the royal families of the state.

Jaswant, with a rich experience of 55 years, has also been awarded the National Merit Award for preserving and spreading the art form. Even his father, Deen Dayal Meenakar has won national awards for the same.

Watch this video to learn more about traditional Meenakari Jewellery.

Edited by Pranita Bhat.

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