Friend of the blog Antoine Didienne, who runs Vavavida, guest wrote this post on unusual materials for jewelry. I myself have a gorgeous teal cuff that I purchased from them, one of my favorite FT pieces. Check it out!
The art of beautifying the body has been around since the beginning of mankind and the intricate, creative and painstaking art form of crafting jewelry is just as ancient. Artisans have a tradition of being resourceful and inventive with the materials they work with. Jewelry has been used for fixing clothing or hair together, a mark of social status or of religion, and even has attributed mystical meaning. Jewelry is imbued with significance and is often a very important representative of who we are.
When you shop Vavavida, your jewelry tells a story of who you are through the story of the artisans who created it. We pride ourselves in working with real people, real artisans that put their whole heart into their craft. And the materials they use tell just as inspiring a story:
BONE (Boomika collection)
Maybe the most ancient material ever used to create jewelry, bone is a material that is connected to us in ways that very few other raw materials are. There’s nothing more organic, vibrant and ancestral that bone jewelry. Because India is incredibly rich in precious metals and stones, its reputation as an ostentatious, beautiful, colorful, rich and lavish society is amply earned as the subcontinent with the longest legacy of jewelry making, with a history spanning over 5,000 years. It is no surprise that precious metals, gems and other more organic materials would be mixed together to create something magnificent.
Our “Boomika” products make up a gorgeous, boho chic collection of jewelry coming out of India and made out of bone. The collection finds a way to mix modern designs with ancestral materials and techniques. It’s earthy, colorful, chic, unique, well made and completely inconspicuous. All of our Boomika jewelry mixes in other materials such as rosewood and brass and plays with patterns, materials, and shapes that make these items really special.
RECYCLED TELEPHONE WIRE (Tara Hira collection)
India has developed an incredibly vivacious metals industry and an even more vibrant recycling industry. Where there are riches, there is also waste, so it comes as no surprise that smart and savvy artisans have found they could make beautiful jewelry using recycled materials.
Our entire Tara Hira jewelry collection is made with recycled telephone wire, proving that recycling is beautiful. Wearing one of our Tara Hira pieces is a testament to what happens when creativity finds a way out of its limits. What could be more beautiful than a bracelet made according to ancient techniques using recycled wires and modern chic designs?
SARI (Tote and Headband)
Saris are the world’s oldest unstitched garment, born from the Mesopotamia era. Over the years, the sari has not only become symbol of sensuous, glamorous every day wear for women, but it has also spurred the creativity of artists of all ilk, from weavers to beaders and also to jewelers. The versatility of this amazing garment is astounding and from India it has spread to all parts of Asia. The expert Indian weavers are renowned the world over and their rich, colorful and luxurious fabrics.
We love that our bags and headbands are made out of upcycled Saris. Our totes, headbands and pouches represent thousands of years of experience of mixing ancient pattern design, colors and techniques with the functionality and product design of modern life. Also, they are each unique because of the unending variety of colors used in the Sari – it’s practically impossible to see two that are the same.
Antoine Didienne is the founder of Vavavida, a fair trade and ecofriendly accessories company.