India and ethnic accessories are more or less synonymous with each other. Famous for delicately created, beautiful pieces of jewelry, India’s love for Gold is unending. One such fascinating process of creating jewelry by embossing intricately worked-out Gold on a sheet of glass is known as Thewa. This beautiful form of jewelry making evolved during the Mughal era. Gold is embossed on the glass so delicately that the glittery effect of Gold comes across beautifully. Skilled craftsmen spend a whole month on creating a single piece. The motifs used on this jewelry give us a peek into the strong culture and tradition of Rajasthan, the land famous for this craft. The intricately designed jewelry showcases tales of romance and valor that Mughal history has carried since time immemorial.
Origin & History
The origin of this art lies in the beautiful lands of Pratapgarh Rajasthan. Till date, this is the only place where thewa art is still prevalent. It was invented by Nathu Lal Sonewala in the year 1707. The kings, princes, queens, and people of the court took an immediate liking to this art since its inception. The intricately designed pieces gave the jewelry a resplendent look. Initially, Nathu Lal’s family kept the craft a secret from the rest of the world. Hence, and that led to their prosperity. But the secret could only be kept so long and gradually this art took the contemporary form and was mastered by several jewelers. The researchers too fumbled with the art and its nuances thus not being able to present the craft in its exact mannerisms. But today this art has won lot many laurels and has been accepted widely by many people.
The overall style of the thewa art is inherently traditional. The very basic structure and design spells Indian heritage and grandeur carried along from ancient times. Considering the contemporary designs and make of thewa jewelry, the introduction of beads and other stylized elements have reintroduced them in the fashion scene. Even today though, with all the contemporary styles adapted by jewelers and designers alike, intricate designs from the ancient styles and take us back to the opulence and royalty attached to this style of art around the time of its inception.
Initially, gold was the only metal used to make this type of jewelry, but nowadays designers have incorporated the use of silver, copper and white gold as well. Some designs keep the detailing minimal and therefore cater to the more modern day people. The more regal and heavy looking pieces suit the attire and look of a typical Indian bride.
Influences over the years
This art form has evolved to a large extent, but the essence and backbone of the basic style remain the same. A lot of European influence is found in the designs and metals of the present times. Rajasthan’s splendid array of colors, textures, and designs play a large part in defining the basic crux of thewa jewelry and accessories. Vibrant and rich patterns adorned with precious stones, pearls, rubies, and diamonds have kept this form of jewelry popular and much sought after throughout India and far beyond.
This jewelry can be worn during weddings or for any traditional occasion that calls for ethnic glamor and beauty. Some of these jewelry pieces can be worn for parties and other functions as well. Thewa jewelry adds instant glamor to any saree, or lehenga, especially for a bride. Ornate-looking Thewa pieces can make anyone look regal and sophisticated, especially due to the new age styles and designs.
Indian ornaments are extremely popular, especially in the west due to their elaborate and flamboyant appeal. International designers have imitated the basic designs of Thewa jewelry to make their own impersonations and styles of jewelry. Popular Indian actresses such as Rekha, Vidya Balan, Sri Devi, Madhuri Dixit, and Aishwarya Rai have flaunted this form of jewelry in their movies and for special red carpet events, which has brought about many admirers from far and wide.