A keen eye for detail

Unique Hobbies

A keen eye  for detail

An eco-sensitive architect by day, ethnic jewellery designer by night, Sarojini A Hombali finds solace in the world of earrings, necklaces and wooden bangles.

When the idea struck her a year ago, it was only as a way to kill time and have ornaments to match her clothes. But it wasn’t long before the passion took over her.

“I didn’t learn anything about jewellery. It was just trial and error, which it still is, except that I am venturing into many new materials now. I knew that it had to be with what I like to wear — more tribal and ethnic stuff to uphold the folk essence of our country,” says Sarojini, adding, “Thrice a week at night, I sit for three hours and make at least two to three pieces.”

In her designs, she tries to play around with various materials ranging  from recycled paper and wood to glass and metal. “I don’t have a mindset that I can only work with certain things. I use whatever I find. I’ve even used jute and shells in some pieces, which are not normally associated with jewellery. Each piece is different, is a new
design and a new way of thought,” she notes.

Another thing one can notice is the splashes of colour in her work. “I’m crazy about making it multi-coloured. I can’t work with monochrome. Even in the things that are monochrome, there are shades of earthy colours. I’m a very colourful thinker,” smiles the architect.

In fact, she strongly believes that her B Arch from R V College of Engineering has helped her apply her knowledge of proportion and design skills to the jewellery. “It helps when it comes to jewellery design because otherwise you wouldn’t know the what, where and how. When people see me working, they sometimes ask ‘Are you serious’? But I know what I’m doing,” she asserts.

“Out of 10 people, five to six don’t wear such loud and bold stuff. But when the three to four remaining people talk about it, it compensates for the rest of them. That makes me happy,” she adds.

If she doesn’t display her work at exhibitions around the City, she enjoys gifting them to people close to her.

“If I like them, I gift them to people. It’s a means of spreading my interest to colleagues, friends, family and people I know. I’ve also gifted them for weddings and return gifts,” she says.

While Sarojini is an expert at making earrings, necklaces and wooden bangles, she has also started giving home accessories a go. Among the many things she makes are ornamental hand fans made of coir; chimtas that are decorated and treated to be used in the kitchen or as home décor and even scarves that can be used as stoles-cum-neckpieces.

Her latest creation is the colourful ali guli mane, a traditional olden time indoor game that people played with shells or seeds.

She elaborates, “I’ve tried to make the game more colourful and vibrant. That way, it’s not just a game but adds value to the interior of the house and the room it’s kept in as well.”

Asked how she keeps innovating with her designs, she answers, “It just comes. I don’t know where it comes from. There’s no subconscious way of getting new ideas. I have no time to get into looking for new designs and even if I do, it’s been done before. My main idea is that my design has to be new, different, unique and wearable.”

On a concluding note, she says that she hopes other Indian women take up the hobby too. “As women, we like to take up activities like this because we like to wear the jewellery too.

But other than that, it’s a great stress-buster and you tend to get addicted as you start liking it and putting yourself into it. Let yourself free and find time outside of your family and profession to pursue it,” she wraps up.

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