"This craft of jewelry making, which has become my passion, definitely takes my mind off the numbing pain and gives me the satisfaction of having done something constructive through it."
"I come from the beautiful town of Thirutani near Chennai, and as a mother of two beautiful daughters, Nethra and Ruchira, my first and foremost hope is that they grow up to be good, clear-thinking and healthy individuals. While not working, I love spending times with them: their witty remarks and thoughts always amuse me. For example, my second daughter had been informing her teachers that she'd be moving to her elder sister's school upon turning 5. She had been counting down at school towards her birthday, thoroughly convincing all the teachers who had gone to the length of even withholding library books. When they raised this matter to me at the end of a term, I was thoroughly baffled and embarrassed! I also marveled at the child's ability to convince her teachers, as she had been, unknown to me, believing that this would happen.
"I would like to experiment with copper jewelry and would like to establish myself as an artisan who always delivers fresh and original designs.
"My foray into crafting jewelry was quite by chance. Having majored in biochemistry, I was always a science-minded person and in my search to identify bead strands my sister had given me, I encountered the fascinating world of gemstones which was new to me. And in turn led me to learning about a variety of them, resulting in jewel making. I use quite a variety of gem stones, but I prefer natural stones in unusual cuts.
"Designing jewelry is one of the best things that have happened to me, it has helped me overcome a traumatic part of my life. When at 26 years old, with a two year-old daughter, I suddenly suffered vocal cord paralysis and lost my voice almost completely. I was tormented with uncertainty about raising my daughter without communicating. It's hard to put in words the stream of thoughts that went through my mind during that time of my life. But thankfully I started gaining strength to my voice over several months' time and overcame it in about three years.
"I have been suffering from neuromuscular problems since the birth of my second daughter, when I had to and still battle physical pain daily. This craft of jewelry making, which has become my passion, definitely takes my mind off the numbing pain and gives me the satisfaction of having done something constructive through it.
"There are so many things that inspire me. The sheer challenge of thinking up new designs every time I sit in front of my material is what that keeps me going and the satisfaction of creating something beautiful -- wearable art as I would like to call it -- with your own hands is unparalleled. I believe that, having no external influences in designing norms, having a keen eye and deftness of fingers has enabled me to think freely, originally, and create my own designs to perfection.
"Life offers a lot of opportunities but it comes with as many challenges, and having the ability to do something on my own individual strength and trying to get established in this competitive field has definitely improved my self-worth. Also, the challenge lies in sustaining your passion for this art through thick and think in terms of sales, which is essential in keeping the flow of creativity.
"My primary medium is gemstones, however, I use ceramic, lava, shell, glass, wood and cotton hemp cord in my creations. The metals I use are silver, silver and gold plate, brass and copper.
"My family has been a great support, especially my husband, Prathap Chowdry. He supports me in this endeavor by financing the materials I needed to start with and he continues to do so with a full belief in my ability and hard work. His belief in me motivates me and keeps me going even when sales are low.
"My favorite thing about this art is that you can play with colors, trying out different combinations and styles, from the ethnic to the contemporary. I believe that through this art form I am only contributing about 30% of the jewelry's beauty through my designs, while the remaining 70% comes from nature's work through the beauty of the gemstones. There cannot be a better inspiration than the beauty of the stones themselves, used as a medium to create something outstanding for personal adornment."