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Arish John Andrews Designs and Makes Bespoke Ornaments From Natural Materials Such as Seeds, Clay, Bamboo

Arish John Andrews Designs – Ruby red seeds of the Coral Wood tree (manjadikuru) collected from the damp earth transform into standout neckpieces. A pair of hoops resemble the delicate petals of the ixora while another mimics the hot pink flowers of the Frangipani that blooms in summer. Each piece of handmade jewellery is wrapped in cotton and packed in a cardboard box, all set to be dispatched.

Handmade necklace made of seeds of the CoralWood Tree and embellished with two clay parrots.

Handmade necklace made of seeds of the CoralWood Tree and embellished with two clay parrots. , Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

“Some of my followers who see such reels wonder why I don’t wax my hairy hands. Most of them assume it is a woman who makes the ornaments,” laughs Arish John Andrews, creator of the bespoke ornaments.

“Most goldsmiths are men! I wonder why people should be surprised that I make accessories,” he adds.

The Ayurveda physician-turned-designer and jewelry maker adds that many of his followers on Instagram are pleasantly surprised when they learn that he is the creator of beautifully crafted neckpieces, bangles, earrings, bookmarks and more made of manjadikkuruclay, bamboo and so on.

Handmade pendant and chain made by Arish John Andrews, which has been inspired by the ritualistic art of Theyyam.

Handmade pendant and chain made by Arish John Andrews, which has been inspired by the ritualistic art of Theyyam. , Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

His earthy designs capture the colours of Kerala in his creations with natural materials and clay. A clay pendant of an Ottanthullal artiste, complete with tiny brass bells, is a celebration of the art and the artiste while a bookmark with the painting of a Theyyam performer in reds and whites is an ode to the ritualistic art. Bright green parrots bracket a bold red chain of manjadikkuru,

Bangles made of seeds of the CoralWood Tree (manjadikuru) by Arish John Andrews.

Bangles made of seeds of the CoralWood Tree (manjadikuru) by Arish John Andrews. , Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

He displays his imaginative creations on his Facebook page and Instagram account with lyrical accounts about the buyer and the ornament. The descriptions, many at a time nostalgic, take one to the pastoral roots of Kerala.

Arish says his decision to become a full-time designer at Melukavumattom, his home town in Kottayam district, was taken after a great deal of deliberation. “That was four years ago and I have never regretted the decision,” he avers.

Although he was always fond of art and crafts and wanted to graduate in fine arts, his family persuaded him to complete a professional course. After securing his BAMS, he took a break and connected with artists and craftsmen who shared his interest.

“As an undergraduate student, we did not have time to pursue painting and drawing. That break gave me the time to read, paint and draw.”

When he showcased his artworks, the response enthused him. Around that time, he took some leftover clay and shaped it into a pendant with the painting of a Kathakali artiste for his elder sister. That brought him more orders and, eventually, he gathered the courage to become a full time craftsperson.

Clay pendant made by Arish John Andrews.

Clay pendant made by Arish John Andrews. , Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

“Like many children growing up in Kerala, I have always been fascinated by manjadikkuruIt makes most of us nostalgic and there would hardly be a child in Kerala, who has not picked up something at some point in her/his childhood.”

While studying in Tripunithura, he used to collect seeds of the CoralWood Tree from the campus. He began using those by embedding the seeds in pendants and neckpieces. “But I found that unless one was able to thread the beads, there were limitations in using them. I found a method to pierce the seeds. It takes about four minutes to pierce one seed,” he explains.

Handmade products made by Arish John Andrews

Handmade products made by Arish John Andrews | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

 

His threaded neckpieces, bangles and earrings were soon snapped up by customers. Started four years ago, his Instagram account @atmashray.life and Facebook page (Atmashray Handicrafts) showcases his collections. The cost of the pieces ranges from ₹50 to ₹2,000.

“I want my creations to be accessible to all and I am happy with what I make. As of now, I am unable to keep up with orders,” he says.

Arish is particular to understand what his customers want and incorporate that in the designs. His work takes inspiration from Kerala’s folklore and art forms.

“The Ottanthullal pendant, for instance, was made for a customer who wanted one like that. Similarly, most of the bespoke ones are made after I connect with the customers to get an idea of ​​what they have in mind.”

He has also made postcards with images of authors and, sometimes, of the customers, bookmarks with paintings and so on.

“I am doing what I enjoy the most and working from my home in a scenic place in Kerala! That is my USP,” he signs off.

David Dasshttps://www.sunburstsignals.com
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