Process of Jewelry design – a multi-billion-dollar industry today, has remained relatively constant over the years, with the fundamental drafting, production techniques, and materials still being used since generations. Yet the recent rapid developments in technology and machinery have allowed artists easier alternatives to some of the old methods. These advancements have helped to transform jewelry design and the approach towards it.
In the conceptual stage, the traditional methods of hand drawing and drafting still continue but usage of computer aided design programs like Jewel CAD, Rhinoceros 3D, and matrix are bringing a shift and sparking new trends in jewelry design.
Modular is a trend that is redefining the meaning of the word heirloom. The latest adaptation in Indian weddings, which are not known for being practical, is in the form of modular jewelry. This type of jewelry pieces are assembled using different units, which can be readily removable from the main body to facilitate not only customization but also multipurpose usability and flexible arrangement of the item of jewelry through interchanging of inserts.
A heavy choker/ necklace with multiple diamond strands and a centre piece can be potentially unlinked and worn as a necklace, while the centrepiece can be used as a brooch and one of the diamond strands can be adorned as a delicate bracelet. This not only makes it look versatile but also adaptable as per occasion and attire.
This trend was started in India by Varuna D Jani about 3 years ago through her ‘VOW’ collection and following this trend is Ishu Datwani, founder of Anmol Jewellers, among several other designers and jewelers.
Modular is a very contemporary and exquisite form of jewelry that is interchangeable and can sort you out for more than one occasion.
Apart from Indian weddings, this trend has also been spotted globally. UK based design duo Elod Beregszaszi and Luca Romanyi, have come up with a range of modular jewellery that feels as light as a feather and can be put in a card as they arrive flat packed, all ready for the recipient to bring it to life by unfolding and assembling.
Ali Forbes’ collection features a unique range of modular brooches. With a removable pin, each one can be stacked depending on how the wearer likes it to look. Pandora also had come up with an ‘Essence collection’ almost a year ago that serves similar purpose.
Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works – Steve Jobs
As rightly said by Steve Jobs, designing is no more ruled by the definition of looks and feel-good factor. Aesthetic appeal is not the only major deciding factor in jewelry anymore. Jewelry Designs are getting more functional in nature. We no more like to take help from another soul to hook our bracelet, but rather like a flexible one or one that doesn’t require to be linked. This is colloquially also known as ‘easy on and easy off’ jewellery.
Minimalistic, simple, no fuss, unrefined yet extremely sophisticated with delicate textures, liquid reflections is the new approach towards jewelry designs. While getting modern in approach by simplification of designs and motifs, Jewelry designs are at the same time sticking to traditions by incorporating delicate textures.
Increasing use of technology
Gone are the days when 3D printers were only used for industrial purposes and automobile science. Their use is now gaining popularity in jewelry industry, thus roping in the use of new materials and metals such as Niobium and other acrylic. Laser cutting techniques are also being largely used.
Twist to the classic
Jewelry is still getting inspired from the classic Art Nouveau (1900-1918), Art Deco (1919-1929), International Style & organicism (1929-1946), New Look & Pop (1947-1967) period but we are giving a rebirth to it by adding a contemporary touch. Jewelry uses are also getting more adaptable in the sense that people are preferring jewelry that is versatile enough that can be incorporated for both ethnic and everyday wear.
Cultural shifts and globalisation has led to cross pollination of elements of jewelry design in true sense and although the jewelry industry hasn’t been through any revolution but it is constantly evolving and emerging with changing trends.