Subhashini has re-invented antique designs.

It is a fusion of past with present. The ‘Samudra Ratna’ jewellery line which could be more aptly termed ‘An Ode to Coral’ is part of today’s design trend to focus attention on vanishing antique pieces such as tikka, rakudi or parts of rare neck pieces, waist bands, etc. as centre pieces of reinvented jewellery while fusing them with beads, thread, fibre, chain, etc.

Designer Subhashini’s inspiration to create ‘Samudra Ratna’ came while rummaging through the century-old Jugal Kishore collection of rare corals and antique gold pieces. Says the designer: “I was fascinated. The orange, pink and red corals were priceless and in rare shapes. We don’t easily get such corals anymore. The antique black rakudi, ‘naths,’ naqaash and jadau pieces along with naqaash globules, set with ruby and diamond were also priceless bits of heritage. I thought of combining corals and antique pieces with simple fibres and other embellishment techniques.”

Subhashini began with a 33-carat barrel shaped coral and fitted it with 19 century filigree gold caps. It hung from a chain interspersed with antique gold beads inlaid with diamonds and rubies! More sensational one-off pieces followed such as a 19 century ‘nath’ delicately reinvented on a coral string, ‘havalla kattu’ coral bangles from Mangalore set with antique florets, Venugopal Naqaash work pendant centred on a string of enormous rare corals, or tiny love birds on a necklace of heart shaped corals!

Samudra Ratna will be unveiled at an exhibition which opens today, November 9 at Jugal Kishore , 44/73 CP Ramaswamy Road, Alwarpet. Phone: 91-44-24990936