Ashwini Oza is the Principal Designer at Arnav Design Studio, a designer jewellery destination in Bangalore that offers one of its kind unique jewellery pieces that tell a story. Ashwini heads the design studio which comprises a team of award winning in-house designers, certified professionals and quality controllers.
What got you keen on a jewellery designing career?
I am a graduate interior designer and worked under very creative and professional minds in the industry for over a decade. Creativity and vision has always been my forte and turning the mundane into something exciting, vibrant and full of life, has been a challenge that I love to take on. Having married into a jeweller’s family, I realised that my creative skills and thoughts would be best put to use in giving form and life to gemstones and precious metals. This new found platform led me to pursue study into the field of jewellery design, gemstone understanding, metallurgy and form & style and the history of jewellery in India. Arnav, my son and Arnav the jewellery studio were born 15 years ago, giving life to my passion with love.
Tell us about your design style. What makes your collections unique?
We stick to our tagline, “Jewellery made from heart”. We are known as the destination for all who wish to treasure significant moments and have them linked to that piece of art that brings it all together. Although rooted in India’s rich cultural heritage, we infuse new life with design elements that are contemporary and trendy. Gems, pearls, gold and silver have all been woven into designs that challenge the imagination. Each piece is a result of true craftsmanship. Customisation can be incorporated into the existing detail without breaking the original piece of jewellery which makes the collection even more special.
What kind of person wears your jewellery?
Like a tasteful marriage between the traditional and the contemporary, Arnav’s designs appeal to the educated, well-travelled and well informed individuals including celebrities, corporate honchos, doctors, architects, software professional and business women. Our client is someone who is stylish, well informed, well travelled, artistic and creative in thoughts, expressive with a strong identity and an individual who knows their mind.
What is the source of your inspiration?
I am free spirited at heart and an avid traveller my travels inspire my thoughts and creativity which often gets reflected in my work and jewellery design. Recently I travelled to Seychelles and our latest collection called ‘Penina Collection’ is inspired from corals and reefs. The Tahitian/South Sea Pearl has an allure that is enchanting and captivates.
What are the new trends you are seeing in jewellery designs?
Heritage is a classical everlasting trend, there seems to be a strong revival in Indianess and artistic history in jewellery. People are going back to their roots and are preserving the art and culture in their jewellery. People bring their old and heirloom jewellery to be remodelled into something they can wear. We try and translate their thoughts into designs and we work with necklaces, earrings and bangles, antique pieces and semi-precious beads. There’s a story of sentiment in every piece which they want treasure and cherish, hence we remodel them to be wearable and fashionable, instead of the jewel lying unsed in the lockers.
What are the new age materials that are being used in jewellery?
We are seeing jewellery being made in wood, steel and titanium. The improved manufacturing process are encouraging designers to experiment with various versatile materials, also due to the acceptance of these materials being popular among the youngsters they seem to becoming popular. The usage of 3D printing is changing the way designers have been visualising and conceiving design, thereby the limitations of silver and gold are being overcome by these new age materials.
What advice would you give to someone interested in getting into the jewellery design business?
Always think about your client in mind. The way they are, their tastes, likes and dislikes. It helps you to design as per their requirements. Study the subject in depth, as it helps you understand yourself and the one single element that appeals to you that you want to place your skills on. A distinct style and signature has to emanate based on your personality, which then becomes an identifiable factor to your clientele. Take your time in building your skill set, have patience as things can go dull and boring for long periods of time. Have a long term view on building your career as a jewellery designer.
What is your favourite piece you’ve ever created – and what made it so special?
We recently converted an antique waist belt into a lovely necklace and earrings. The belt was carefully remodelled to preserve the artistic work and beauty, by adding elements of gold and gemstones, with a design blending and complementing the original design. The jewellery was made to suit the wearer’s personality, without disturbing her grandmother’s sentiments of the waist belt.
This story appeared in the 10th Jan 2017 issue of Femina Karnataka here: