Today I wanted to introduce you to a lively innovative jewelry line: Paarisha, created by designer Chinanshu Sharma. All pieces are handmade and one-of-a-kind. Chinanshu’s creations are like woven jewels. She uses yarns and threads from materials like silk and banana fiber to add vibrant color to traditional silver.
Paarisha creations have been sold by some of the leading online retailers of Indian design. Jaypore recently featured her “Womad” collection, which was inspired by Afghani tribal pieces combined with weaves and braids:
You can see the hallmarks of Paarisha style here — chunky pendants and metals mixed with colorful weavings. This adds a contemporary twist to things rooted in deep tradition. The “Womad” collection is intended to represent the nomad in every woman who doesn’t want to be restrained, and who seeks to explore the world. (Hmmmm … sounds familiar.) The jewelry was designed to express this spirit.
I appreciate new innovative twists on traditional things. So what drew my eye was how Chinanshu updates traditional designs for today’s times. In addition to the Afghani-inspired necklaces, she has also updated the classic Indian “mango leaf” necklace with colorful yarns:
You can see more creative jewelry on the Paarisha by Chinanshu Pinterest Board and follow the company’s Facebook page for news about new pieces. Some people are buying right from the Facebook page and you’ll also hear about online retailers selling the line.
Design Profile Q&A
I was so inspired by Chinanshu’s vision to see something new in designs rooted in tradition, that I just had to ask some questions! For example she shared some of her techniques in a post on the Paarisha blog where she talked about combining Japanese Kumihimo braiding with the Indian jewelry designs. So here’s an interview we did to tell you more about the designer behind the designs …
What makes your creative soul sing?
My inspirations are many, from nature and surroundings to words and songs. I pick up a small thing and try to work on it for some time to see how far it can be explored what more can be done from it. As every new day will bring a new perspective and newer ways to look at it.
What story would you like to tell through your jewelry?
Handcrafted jewellery is a piece of art and when someone wears it, to not only to look beautiful but because they love that piece of art and are connected to it. My endeavor is to make the wearer feel beautiful.
It looks like you are pairing combinations of materials in a unique way. What materials do you use to make jewelry?
Yes, by combining different materials a lot can be told and what comes out is something that has a character of its own. For instance my Mumbai collection was to highlight the contrast and coexistence of the mega city “Mumbai.” I combined silk and metal in a complementing way which shows contrasts of soft silk to hard metal and yet they complement each other.
Materials that I have worked with are yarns, fabrics, metal, stones, raffia, recycled stuff like denims, motor/cycle parts, found objects, rubber, wood, wires and more.
What materials would you like to use in your wildest creative dreams?
Living in the city I am influenced by the modern architecture – concrete, glass, steel. I am also fascinated by delicateness, intricacy and textures of nature. I often visit Cubbon Park to study the barks of trees and someday they will find their way in my jewellery. In my wildest creative dream I would love to do something that I cant even imagine now :)
How did you arrive at the idea to combine weaving with traditional metal jewelry shapes?
I have tried and learnt most by experimentation and I have been working with yarns for some time now. Colours have become the DNA of my designs. Not only do they convey a lot but also have amazing effect on us.
I love baskets and have always loved the way every region/place has its own style, and materials like grass, dyes and weaves to make those baskets. So it was a matter of combining the two first, then give it a contemporary feel. For my audience to be able to relate to it, I added Indian motifs, metal pieces. That makes it wearable and women all over can relate to it.
What is your background in design and how did you get introduced to jewelry-making?
I am a boring banker turned designer. Jewellery making happened to me as some ideas in my head that didn’t let me sleep and once I started putting them on paper, they just didnt’ stop. Sometimes I have visions and I have to get up and put it on paper, else it will be lost forever.
I studied jewellery designing and metal smithing at IIG Jaipur. But what I do today is far from what I learnt at design school. Its been a journey to find my style and my expression.
As a resident of Bengaluru (also known as Bangalore) what are the top places you recommend travelers visit in your city? And for selfish reasons, I visit Bangalore occasionally and am always looking for new places!
If you are a little adventurous and don’t mind noisy streets and Indian market chaos — Chickpet. Every time I go there I discover something new. Nrityagram for experiencing some traditional Indian dance. Old furniture hunting at Bamboo market — I personally haven’t been there but think it might interest you. I can recommend a beautiful place I visited recently, it’s not in Bangalore but in Coimbatore — Isha Home school, at Isha Yoga Centre. It’s all very well done.
And that’s a wrap! Yes I’m finishing up this post a bit late and getting cheeky. Thank you to Chinanshu for taking some time to talk with us! And seriously, how could you possibly choose which piece to get in your very own Paarisha gift box? Visit the Paarisha website to see one-of-a-kind designs currently available.