By Hand From The Heart: One Show, Many Stories!

By Hand From The Heart is a curated makers market event in Chennai, South India. UPCOMING EVENT: 24th – 25th, AUGUST, CROWNE PLAZA, CHENNAI

Meet The Maker: Nimisha Teresa Zachariah – Textile Jewellery Designer

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At the Artisan Market this August, meet textile jewelry designer Nimisha Teresa Zachariah of Suchika (means: needle). Nimisha creates bespoke colour-inspired, hand-embroidered textile jewelry. Her works are embellished with mirrors, buttons, bead work and all kinds of simple stitches on fabric, giving each piece an intricate surface texture. At the artisan market she will be presenting her collection of contemporary, easy to style wearable art.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

My name is Nimisha Teresa Zachariah. Born and brought up in Kerala; I finished my schooling from Pallikoodam. I graduated from Stella Maris College doing my under graduation in Visual Arts (4 years) and post graduation in Textile Design (2 years). To gain experience in textile design,  I worked at TVAM, a boutique in Chennai, which focuses on hand embroidered & custom made Indian wear. After a year of work, I am now looking forward to pursuing my own venture, SUCHIKA.

How would you describe what you do; and how long have you been making and creating?

My interest in textile jewellery, began while I started working. It was a hobby that I pursued after my working hours; it was very comforting. Creating my own design and colour combinations, brought excitement and happiness. In the last 1 year I have been experimenting and exploring different ways and techniques to attain a better finish and definition to my products.

Each piece is completely handmade and includes no machine stitches. The product’s design or colours are decided on the spot without prior planning. I see it as a free-flowing process that eventually turns into a simple yet intricate product to wear. Jewellery is made of fabric and threads making it lite and comfortable to wear.

Tell us about your recent works and your proposed showcase at the By Hand, From The Heart.

By Hand, From the Heart is my first platform where I’m showcasing my products. Every product is different from the other and has no copy or replica. Over a period of time, I feel my work has evolved to a large extent, and therefore I decided to showcase my product line at a makers market and to see how people accept it and judge it. Each jewellery piece is a like wearable art, available in different sizes and shapes meeting aesthetic needs.

Can you describe your work place / space? 

I work from home which makes it very relaxing to create my products.

What is a typical day at ‘Suchika’ like.

I spend almost the entire day, putting a piece together, taking a break every now and then to refresh my mind. Each piece requires different time frames depending on the size and design.

What/who inspires you? Or how do you find inspiration?

Back in my post graduate days I spent time exploring hand embroidery possibilities which created immense interest towards the same. I also did a collection of hand embroidered serving trays as part of my project realise my skills in embroidery.

Can you describe your creative process and what is the most rewarding part of the creative process for you?

I initially decide on the colour which is to be worked with, and attach the similar colour fabric on the embroidery frame. The shape of the neck-piece is then cut out on a slightly thick sheet of paper. The shape is then transferred onto the fabric with chalk/ pencil. As soon as this is done necessary lines are drawn inside the shape to create a rough guide line to work with. A random colour from the set is chosen and the work starts. As and when each section or line is done different stitches are done. Once the shape is filled in and the design is completed the piece is removed from the frame. The frame is reinserted with another fabric below. Once tightly fixed and outline stitch is given close to the edge of the design binding the back cloth to the back of the embroidery piece. Again removed, and the piece is cut out from the fabric leaving a small gap at the edges. Later, with the shape cut out on paper another drawing is done on another piece of fabric and cut out to attach as another backing to the piece. Once the cut out cloth is kept behind and pinned to hold in place behind the designed jewellery the edges are bonded together with a simple stitch to hold these three layers together. This gives the product firmness and necessary finish. While the edges are being done small metal ring are attached on the two edges to attach the tassel to make it a complete neck-piece. If the product is an earring a hook is simply attached with pliers onto the attached metal ring.

What’s the best thing about being a crafter / designer?

It’s your imagination and ideas that come to life through your products. There is no hard and fast rule in art. Every creation or design has its own beauty and creativity. There is no correct and incorrect. It’s a free space you create for ourselves to feel happy.

What would you say to someone thinking about selling their work?

You must be confident about your products and should evaluate them before they put them out to public. When you sell something it should be marketed well and thereafter appreciated by an audience.

Anything exciting on the cards for the coming months?

I am looking forward to start a new Facebook page/ website and let more people know about my work. I am contemplating of collaborating with a few friends and setting up an online store as well.

Nimisha Teresa Zachariah will be featured at, the By Hand, From The Heart Artisan & Farmers Market
7- 8 August 2015 | 10 a.m – 8 p.m | Hanu Reddy Residences,
41/19, Poes Garden, Teynampet, ‪‎Chennai‬.


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