When it comes to jewellery, the segment of Terracotta is the most natural one of all. An environmentalist's love and of those who are sensitive towards embracing everything which mama earth gifts us without any harm is nothing else but Terracotta Jewellery. This clay jewellery is the magic which connects us with the charms of nature and its benefits. Many ornaments such as bangles, neckpieces, pendants and figurines were found at the Harappan culture ruins, which means the existence of Terracotta Jewellery goes back to the times from between 3000 & 1500 BC.
What is Terracotta?-
This word is an inspiration from the Italian language, which literally translates to 'cooked earth'!
The process of Terracotta Jewellery making-
1. Prepping of the clay: The right textured absorbent clay is first identified and brought by the artisans, which is found from the fertile river beds. The clay is cleaned to get rid of any impurity, which is further dried and broken into smaller pieces only to be soaked in water again. The muddy mixture is sieved again to refine the clay and is left to settle down in order to get the finest clay which is air-dried.
2. Moulding for the base: After refining and getting the purest form of clay, it is moulded into different shapes and styles for jewellery making and then air-dried.
3. Baking to solidify: It is done in a baking oven where all the moulded clay pieces are placed to cook which solidifies the design of the clay. For this process, the artisans make sure that the oven is properly closed and it takes almost 5-6 hours to bake the clay moulds completely. At this point, the baked clay turns rusty red in colour.
4. Adorning for finalisation: This is the more creative aspect of the entire Terracotta Jewellery making process. Paints and various embellishments like chains and clips are added to the jewellery to add all the finishing touches.
Wearing and maintenance of Terracotta Jewellery-
Perfect for ethnic traditional attires, Terracotta jewellery really enhances and compliments one's look in such outfits. Due to the colourful look of this jewellery, it blends seamlessly with Indian textiles and outfits. You can put together Terracotta earrings, bangles, necklaces with Anarkali, sarees, lehengas or even with Indo-western outfits such as ethnic jackets and dhoti pants or full-length cotton dresses!
Although this kind of jewellery is laced with protectants to retain the colour and the finish for a longer time, however, it is important to ensure that you pay heed while wearing and storing your Terracotta jewellery pieces. Direct contact of the jewellery with water should be avoided.
Terracotta Earrings: These come in a host of designs and shapes. The danglers, jhumkas, stud earrings, drop earrings, and of different shades and finishes such as bright pink, purple, yellow or metallic silver and grey, are all very popular choices of many in this age.
Terracotta Bangles: There are handpainted ones and the ones created with silk threads over the bangle. Some bangles are also decorated with mirrors and crystal stones to make them look vibrant and aesthetic.
Terracotta Necklace: These are more often than not a part of chunky jewellery since the size of the pendants of Terracotta necklace is huge. A lot of detailing and intricate designs are carved over the clay and painted with neon and bright colours. Creation of gods and goddesses are especially some popular designs of these necklaces sold across many cities and towns of India as these are the perfect example of the rustic art which Terracotta is!