During a winter trip to New York, this Scouter spent hours poking around a Soho store called Evolution, goggling at taxidermy animals and medical models, seashells, asteroids, minerals and incredibly cool fossils. What we really wanted was to walk out with the six feet high taxidermy polar bear, but bought instead a shiny green dung beetle that was turned into a brooch. Yesterday, this brooch – we call him Fargo – felt like he had found his crew in new Indian jewelry brand Kichu’s cupboard: a scarab necklace, shark tooth pendant and a ring with antlers. Carry-bou!
Made using metal and brass or gold plated, Kichu’s pieces evolved in the mind of Kichu Dandiya, who grew up in a home where everything was “painstakingly handmade”. “I’d spend hours in my father’s office looking at his jewelry designs and sketching my own,” she says. Being incubated in an environment like this had its effect on Kichu, who eventually, after studying in Mumbai and Panchgani, jet packed to London to pursue Jewelry Design at Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design.
A few years later, she’s ready with her own self-titled collection of minimalist, base metal brass and gold plated pieces. Evolution, indeed.
Attempting to break away from the cookie cutter, large stone statement pieces, Kichu’s aesthetic follows simple lines with designs that are not heavily textured. While Kichu draws her inspiration mainly from nature and organic motifs, her designs are primarily urban - bpb loves her shark tooth and scarab pieces.
Currently based in Jaipur for the proximity to her karigars, Kichu tells bpb that her process is pretty labour intensive, each piece being handcrafted after the entire design is finalised, versus in a factory setup. She is also in the process of looking for a retail space, taking orders and is willing to customize.
One polar bear on a chain please. Fargo will be pleased.
Getting there: Catch Kichu at the Stylecracker Pod @ Olive Mahalaxmi, Mumbai until July 8, see her Facebook page here, prices start at Rs 1,000. No shipping charges for large orders.
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