Thursday, April 19, 2018

The daunting - Dr. Hawking

Hello All,

What does one do when one gets a request to sketch a persona to towering that he dwarfs everyone around him? And when that personality is none other than Dr. Stephen Hawking, one trembles, quite literally.........

We don't know what we were thinking when we accepted the order (a while ago though) but once accepted, there's no backing out. Merely bracing up for this sketch was a tiring exercise! After weeks of 'one thing after another', we got started and well, nearly gave up mid way. When the man was so familiar to everyone (right down to the last wrinkle on his face), we were taking a BIG risk. Anything going wrong would make the sketch 'not look like him'......and unacceptable defeat for us.

Thankfully, we managed to retain the essential features in the sketch and our friends convinced us that he really does look like himself here. We shall re-attempt, it's a promise. For now, here's a 3D polymer clay sketch of Dr. Hawking. Completely hand-sketched on Sculpey Premo clay. The skin colour clay (as a base for the face) has been mixed specially to match his skin tone. The sketching has been done used Hartmuth Soft Pastels and finishing touches have been given by acrylic paints....


Some more images of the pen-stand where the great man's sketch sat.......



And the only 2 work-in-progress photos we took.......





Thank you for dropping by :)

Team Art'zire

Sunday, April 15, 2018

India goes to Spain

Hello All,

How many times does it happen that you just meet people you resonate with? Very rarely, right? We were fortunate enough to bump into a beautiful soul like that recently and the connection felt instant.....

When she called us and told us she wanted to come over, we were a bit hesitant. Anyone who ever lived in Bangalore would understand why we don't want anyone to wade through tar-like traffic of Bangalore, but then, she was insistent. Once she stepped over our threshold, we understood the reason for the insistence. It was the most unusual request ever made of us.........she wanted an ear cuff for one ear and a stud for another. While most people flinch at the idea of wacky, we grabbed the opportunity with both hands. It took a while to break out of the asymmetry mold we were so firmly cast in, it was a delight once we started work on it.

The order was delivered and well, we kinda pushed it out of our minds. Then happened a cake for the 2nd anniversary of Eat Street, Koramangala and she was there! Chance meeting and a quick catch-up revealed that she was heading for a wedding to Spain and that the Spanish bride was going for Indian attire for her wedding.......

Upon further discussion, it was revealed that our dear friend had convinced the bride out of buying Pakistani attire, boasting of how beautiful Indian attire also is :D Now, THIS became a matter of prestige! The stakes felt higher than ever........we had to deliver the best we could, and in a limited time frame (we got just a week to make the set).......and the criteria were more than one


  • Light weight
  • Intricate
  • Not too big
  • Dull Gold
  • No peach/red colour (as the entire dress was peach, and red was a big no no)
  • The stud stick had to be really thin
  • Plenty of bling, without being overpowering


Now, you can imagine how many techniques could give us happy results with this many criteria at play! In times of crisis, we always fall back on filigree, because it comes to us so naturally and to enhance the look, we chose Peridot Swarovskis to give a "jadau" effect......

The earring dangler are all of 2.8 cm long and the stud is 1.4 cm......by all our usual work surface standards, this was miniscule, but this was no time for second thoughts........

So, here we present for Emma's wedding, our take on extremely Indian tradition - Indo-EspaƱa.......with all our love, wishing you a very happy, adventurous and memorable married life....



The dress it was to match with



And some more WIP photos :)





Our Razia Sultana dons the maan tikka :D


And, of course, the set that started this unique relationship..........




Love - Art'zire Team.......
















Thursday, April 5, 2018

Piece of heart, living outside - polymer clay sketch



Hello All,


Any of us who've ever loved  child (whether our own or someone else's), would relate to this saying - "Children are a piece of our heart - just living outside". We know we have to let go of them some day! But the heart wouldn't let go! They remain our babies, no matter how big they get. Our minds freeze in those times when they crawled up on us and sat on our lap..........

When Dipti approached us for this keychain, we weren't quite sure we could pull it off, and diffidence can be a strong demotivator! We needed to sharped our knives and sharpen we did.......Sushma placed THE other for Dr. Strange and Sherlock Holmes (both played by Benedict Cumberbatch). Once we had tried faces of that level of complexity, our confidence grew a little bit and we attempted some more 'real' people......and then, an infant's sketch followed. Kids are always particularly difficult to sketch, owing to very indistinct features on their faces.

One has to convey as much of an expression as possible through those minimal lines and smooth (read chubby) shades. As artists, children's sketches present the opportunity to learn and grow.....

We quite enjoyed this particular keychain as the little child is so gleeful! His cheerful hat added to the joy of the image.....so, here it is, Dipti's son (a keychain off to Singapore soon)..........


What had started as a casual ketch on a bottle eventually landed up as full fledged 3D polymer clay sketches......and we quite enjoy making them.........

A small compilation of our evolution...........

Image may contain: 4 people, people smiling

Image may contain: 5 people

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A compilation like never before.....

Hello All,

Every once in a while, we feel challenged! And surprisingly, we welcome such opportunities. Challenges are an excellent time to feel isky about oneself. And they are the ideal time to convert a difficulty into a golden chance......it is all about perspective! Whenever we get an order from Preethi, our collective hearts take a leap! A leap of fear and a leap of faith...........fear because we know that whatever we knew so far is about to be put to test. And faith because we delve into the unknown.

Right from the nascent stages of paper jewellery development, we've had Preethi's unwavering support. She's trusted us where few others have! She's given us so much free-hand that our nearly aesthetic selves are willing to believe in angels guarding over us.........and we could pay no higher compliment to her.

In this order, we have a compilation of 3 completely 'untried' styles........


When we had picked up Naulakha, we had vague knowledge of painting (and securing) Tanjore on polymer clay. We knew about the difficulties of using red (and its cousin colours, orange, maroon, magenta) on polymer clay. What we did not know was how we were going to overcome this problem. After a great deal of brainstorming, we did figure the process out and it took two people two full days to get this piece working (that's nearly 40 work hours), apart from planning and testing, that took a few days before we even touched this piece. A systematic and detailed analysis of various components was done before this piece was made and well, the results of the thoroughness is for all to see :)


Now, if you've been following us, you'd know that we make a LOT of peacocks (many many more than we'd ever like to!). It so happens that most of these peacocks were made for Preethi! So, once her collection had peacocks in all fathomable shapes, sizes and techniques, it was a time to break off from the routine. What the break was going to be, we didn't know.......and it turned out to be Kerala Mural style painting. The "half-stuck" Swarovski pearl style was a first for us and we dare say we like it, a great deal too.....


And ah! The star of our innovation of late......

We have been practicing our wire weaving just to culminate to this moment where we can bring wire weaving together with polymer clay. The design began with the sunset colour blend in clay. Then we worked on the shape and size of the design so as to incorporate the wires. We didn’t intend it to look like a beetle , but more like a tulip :). When we brought the wires in, some hammered to give a slight aged look and some wrapped to give it strength, it ended up being very bugsy wugsy. Our first and fairly uncomplicated design with a strong string to give it an urbane look.   

And WHAT a colourful compilation it became when it finally headed off to Preethi!


Thank you for dropping by! 

Love, Art'zire


Sunday, April 1, 2018

Fifth Anniversary Contest Winner

Hello All,

At the outset, thank you all, for your kind messages........it is because of you all that we have come this far, and that we have the enthusiasm and energy to surge ahead full steam......

We had announced the fifth anniversary contest, celebrating our five years and kindling the creativity of our readers......

The original post is here:

Art'zire Contest Alert.............
This is a BIG big year for us! We are turning 5 years old this April 1st (no no, no April Fool's Joke, we truly are!!!).......
So, we announce the 5th Anniversary contest for Art'zire....
Create something using FIVE different elements...........
What are these 5 elements, you ask? They can be anything, five different materials, 5 different techniques......anything you feel like combining together.........and now, for some rules:
1. Art'zire Team members (past and present) and their families are not allowed to participate, but they can post inspiration posts.
2. The jewellery making material, e.g. head & eye pins, clasps, jump rings, tiger tail etc are not counted as 'material'. By material, we mean 5 different things, e.g. rhinestone chains, paint, pen, tassle, crystals, rhinestones etc. Similarly, if you're making a non-jewellery project, the 'base' used (e.g. wood/paper) is to be counted only as ONE material. So, if you're pasting paper on paper, it'll count only once. Edible or inedible, anything with 5 elements is perfectly eligible.......in case of any confusion, pls message us on 8884643192.
3. The images are to be sent to artzire@gmail.com. We need TWO hi-resolution images. And please write a small 'story' of the project. We love to hear your thoughts behind your creations...
4. The last date for sending in the images is March 24, 2018 (11:59 pm IST). The winner will be announced on April 1st, 2018...
5. The decision of the Art'zire Team will be final and binding, please respect that.
6. The prize for the winner will be announced on April 1st itself and we will ONLY ship the prize domestically. Any international winners will have to coordinate for getting their prize to them from their Indian contact......
7. In case of any questions, please ask us for clarification. We will not want to get into any altercations at a later date.
So! Get creating!!!!!!!!!!!

We had a tough time selecting the winner because every single one of the participants went on a limb to think of 5 different things to incorporate in a single creation! And that too, when basic elements of jewellery making were not to be counted as components. After much deliberation, we have chosen our winner -

Nisha Gupta!
And the winning creation is:

What aced it for Nisha is the incorporation of an unexpected element - Carved Ivory - along with an extremely unlikely companion - Crocheted Elephants............it was like home-coming for the elephants, who're reunited with their own body part.........

As Nisha's children pointed out to her - She can convert anything to jewellery and she did indeed convert a bookmark into one! So, congratulations Nisha, stay innovative, keep creating!

We would like to specially mention that we loved these creations too........


  • Christy's, for such a serene look......
  • Mohana's, for the lovely use of foil
  • Diya's Tanjore Tree of Life, for neatness
  • Kalai Vani's Koi fishes, for the lovely sentiments behind it
  • Aum Creations' creation, for its clean and simple look
  • Dhanashri, for choosing such a lovely stone to work around with
The participating creations:






Congratulations Nisha and all the other participants too! You guys make us feel so very special :)

Team Art'zire











Fifth Anniversary - Tutorial and review for waterproofing quilled jhumkas

Hello All,

Thank you so much for all the love you people have showered on us for past 5 years! It has been a roller coaster of a ride but what is life without some adventure thrown in!! Just like every year, we celebrate this anniversary with some love of sharing.........

All the crafters who make quilling jewellery groan (inwardly or otherwise) when their jewellery is compared with readymade, mass manufactured and impersonal alloy jewellery (most of it Made in China). We know the pain! Waterproofing of quilled jewellery has been its Achilles' Heel for a long time and most crafters struggle with answering the question: Will this jewellery get ruined when water falls on it?

We saw the problem for what it was. The customers want to make sure their money is worth it and the cost (of handmade jewellery) is justified too! So, we experimented with a host of resins and coating materials. The wall we kept hitting was: Importing the resin! Most resins available in India either had a short shelf like, or yellowed after some time! Since resin is susceptible to fire, it's transported via ships and that meant long waiting periods!

When Itsy Bitsy announced its line of resin (Lil Birdie: https://goo.gl/2EacL3 ), we seized the opportunity to try it on our quilled jhumkas..........we were a bit apprehensive as the reviews we had received so far said that the resin had a lot of bubbles upon mixing. We have worked around that problem and this video demonstrates how to use the resin on quilled jhumkas....


Hope the Tutorial/Review helps........

Pritesh (on behalf of Art'zire Team)

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Tiniest inspiration - huge leap

Hello All,

As is very well known, we have been making quilled jhumkas for quite a while (3.5 years, to be precise). The quilled jhumka has had its evolution cycle, but we never ventured into polymer clay (dome shaped) jhumkas so far for two reasons, one, our aversion to overcrowded spaces (too many people were making them), two, every idea we got was just too easy/ordinary.

So, we waited, and we waited.......for a year and a half. Sometimes, tiniest of incidents can bring about sea changes in one's thoughts. Meeting ace artist Ajay Gulati , whose curator, Bhargavi is a personal friend, turned out to be that one stroke of inspiration we were waiting for............a tranquil evening spent admiring Ajay's paintings made a gazillion neural connections in our brains......and the result? The idea for polymer clay jhumka lurking in the corners of our minds came to the fore. It took a little while for us to get a concrete plan for executing it and when we did, we realized we were lacking in a few things needed for getting a desired effect. Almost an hour long discussion ensued and then, a frenzy of shopping! Whenever there is a new "line" being launched at Art'zire, the scene is similar.........ideas presented, fine-tuned, scrapped (if they don't meet our standards), fine-tuning some more and then, trials.......

Most times, we are able to foresee and rule out mistakes. Sometimes, we aren't that lucky. This time, a silicone mold we didn't realize was so big (until we finished the jhumka) came all the way from US (oh boy! Are we thankful for amazing friends or what????). We ruthlessly cut it up to meet our need and then resulted a jhumka (utilizing the first idea we got) which didn't quite make the cut. It looked gorgeous, but a tad bit too big........


Since the basic idea was in place, we fine-tuned the second trial onward as a breakneck pace. And in the third one, we finally made it! A jhumka that wasn't too big, had the right shape and the right weight :)

Now, since there was an order hanging about in the corner, we even got the opportunity to experiment within it. A neck-piece was a natural extension and this was one incidence when Art'zire Team rose to its full potential. One of the things we had been waiting to lay our hands on was jewellery tubes (so often used by a lot of jewellery makers in necklaces). They look oh-so-tempting, but then, they can't be customised to our needs. If you know how much we fuss over having things our way, using readymade metal tubes would be ruled out before it was even as much as uttered. Hence, we decided to break our heads with our own! And well, the OLD enemy - Symmetry!!!!!!

Speak to any hand-made jewellery maker and you'd hear tales of how nightmarish symmetry can be to execute. But the Team never succumbed to pessimism or to the hurdles that faced us. We happily (okay, not so happily, but with tons of effort!) jumped over them and here is the full set :) Art'zire Team does it yet again..............brainstorming till we have THAT one idea that not only impresses but inspires every single member..........



Once we had done the main parts, it was time for the rest of the material to complement our hard work. In such times, we rely on the innovation and beauty that's commonly called Swarovski ;) They never let us down and now, we are beginning to believe that we are the only ones in India who obsess so much over their pearls :D These pearls are just paint gorgeous and those crystals! There's a reason one takes the name Swarovski with a lot of respect :) They are a jewellery-designer's dream-come-true............and ours do, every single time we look at the box we have assigned for them.......

Stringing in Swarovskis, embedding some in the central pendant and voila! We are good to go!!!!

A special thanks to Suma, for her order and to Richa, for being that steady rock whose ideas and constructive criticism help us stay rooted.......and well, Bindu (like always), for being our shoulder to lean on...........for pretty much everything! Lots and lots of love..........

Thank you for reading through.......

- Art'zire Team

PS: We don't take kindly to copying of our designs. If you are inspired, please be, by all means. Just don't forget to mention that it's not your design (no thanks, we don't want too much credit!)........