The World Crafts Council's ‘Abhushan' seeks to capture the diversity and symbolism of jewellery

Ingenuity in fashioning ornaments has been a speciality of the artisan from ancient times, with gold, precious and semi-precious stones, and even wood, mud, lac and stone lending themselves to exquisite adornment. ‘Abhushan: Design Dialogues in Jewellery' , an international jewellery summit is to be held from February 4 to 6, 2011, at Hotel Ashok, New Delhi under the aegis of the World Crafts Council.

According to the organisers, ‘Abhushan' is “a one-of-its-kind convention, intended to capture the diversity, symbolism, and artistic form in jewellery and pay homage to craftspersons from all over the world.”

This international summit will cover a stunning range from grass to silver; and the accent will be minimal on gold and precious materials. The meet at the Auras Corporate Centre, Chennai, the secretariat of the WCC, showed fascinating glimpses of what is in store. On display were neckpieces made of coral-coloured rubber bands, pieces of discarded ties rolled into beads and strung together, and paper jewellery in sunset hues. The theme of the summit is “jewellery made from everyday, unconventional, eco-friendly materials”. The alchemist is the craftsperson, who, with his/her skilled hands and unfettered imagination, creates and transforms.

Says Usha Krishna, president, World Crafts Council: “The successful ‘Grass to Gold exhibition held in Chennai five years ago was so successful that we decided to do it again with the five regions of the WCC — Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America — taking part.”

Rooted in tradition

The WCC, a non-profit, non-governmental organisation works to advance the social and economic status of craftspersons. “There are 360 degrees to this summit. The focus will be on the contemporary and the innovative, but with roots in tradition,” says Nina Kothari, treasurer, WCC and chairperson-‘Abhushan' Committee.

‘Abhushan' will provide a platform for a mutually-learning process for craftspersons; it will provide exchange of ideas and generate awareness of living craft traditions. It is intended to be “a collaboration of artists, artisans, designers, scholars and students”.

A three-day seminar, curated exhibition, craft jewellery bazaar, designer gallery, traditional jewellery retail avenue, craft exchange workshop, and a fashion show will form part of the events. Indian representation will be strong in all the sections. Documentation will be undertaken and the ‘Abhushan' journal, a coffee table journal, will be an effective tool for marketing. For registration, contact www.worldcraftscouncil.org, or call 2847 8506.