Shachee Shah sometimes takes around eight to nine months to execute a new design for her eponymous labour-intensive jewellery line. The pieces in Shachee Fine Jewellery are akin to handcrafted mosaic and gold lace jewellery, and the designer says, “I believe that if you are creating any art form, extensive practice helps you to groom and elevate your skill set. It all depends on how much time you put in doing the same thing again and again. The micro-mosaic technique is all about that.”
Micro-mosaic jewellery came into existence in the late 19th century when affluent European families travelled to different parts of the country and commissioned artisans to make miniature mosaic souvenirs, which usually depicted the scenic landscapes and cultural landmarks that they had visited. The craft is believed to have originated in Italy, and it was there that Shah studied this unique art form. Her latest collection of pendants, rings, bracelets and earrings are crafted by splintering bricks of coloured glass into tiny fragments, which are then meticulously placed one by one into the cavity created. “There are two ways of doing this. Either you make a whole box and then put the mosaic and adhesive inside or you engrave a stone first to create a cavity and then place the glass pieces. One needs to have a lot of patience to achieve the desired result. The majority of mosaic buyers are people who really care about what they acquire in their jewellery wardrobes. They are inquisitive about how these are made and the journey behind each one. They place a huge emphasis on custom-made pieces and will wait to possess them.” As French artist Edgar Degas famously said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” And similarly, each piece of Shachee’s Fine Jewellery evokes a different emotion on every encounter.