By Hand From The Heart is a curated makers market event in Chennai, South India. UPCOMING EVENT: 24th – 25th, AUGUST, CROWNE PLAZA, CHENNAI
Today we feature, jewellery designer Mrinalini Cariapa of Flames Of The Forest, Bangalore in our ongoing Meet The Maker Series featuring the participants at our August 2016 Makers Market. Mrinalini talks about her creative venture and her passion for design, nature and jewellery. She shares her craft experience, current works and business tips.
A bit about yourself and Flames Of The Forest.
Mrinalini Cariapa, founded Flames of the Forest, an exclusive collection of designer jewelry, in 2003. The passionate designer travels extensively to source rare semi-precious gems, – like Coral Fossil, Jaspers, Solar Quartz, Lodolite -and sets them in Sterling Silver, turning them into unique wearable jewelry. Occasionally, on her quests for these gems, she stumbles upon the odd raw Emerald, unpolished Aquamarine or streaked Turquoise, and handcrafts these rare stones into magnificent works of art. Her designs draw inspiration from nature, making them appealing to women of any age. These timeless creations are the perfect accessories to both, ethnic and western wear. Being highly qualified in the discipline of jewelry and semi-precious tones, this conscientious artisan takes special care that the stones she uses have not been dyed or treated with any unnatural process.
Mrinalini has designed and handcrafted jewelry throughout school and college, initially using materials like wooden and glass beads, before choosing to pursue her passion and gaining specialized knowledge on the subject.
Besides making jewelry, the young designer holds workshops – a great way for a layperson to get a hands-on experience designing and crafting jewelry. Handcrafting each other’s engagement rings has become an increasingly popular trend among urban couples today. This fun activity was conceptualized by Mrinalini, and is available upon request at her studio in Whitefield, Bangalore.In the last few years, her unusual designs have gained immense popularity.
How would you describe what you do; and how long have you been making and creating?
I go out looking for interesting stones, ones that are like God’s creations. I get inspiration from nature, for example, the colours of birds, insects and marine life. I started making jewelry as a hobby when I was a child. It was my way of making some pocket money. I later went on to study jewelry design and manufacture. I officially started Flames of the Forest in 2003.
Creating jewelry at Flames Of The Forest. What is involved?
Since my work has a lot to do with interesting semi-precious stones, I find choosing the stones to be the most important part. It is often difficult to find stones that match exactly as most often, the stones would be different shades of a colour or have different markings on it. We try to match them as much as possible, hence you will notice that sometimes, the stones could be of a slightly different size.
What are you bringing to By Hand, From The Heart.
We will be bringing a huge collection of earrings, rings, bracelets and ur new collection of cufflinks. All our jewellery is Sterling Silver (92.5%) with natural semi-precious stones. You will find a lot of interesting semi-precious stones in our collection, the newest ones being Meteorites, Trilobite Fossils (which are 250 million – 500 million years old), Ammolite, a lot of stones in their raw formation, etc.
Describe your work premises & what is a typical day at Flames Of The Forest, like.
A day in our office is a lot of fun! A typical day involves a lot of design work. Even though each person has their own work to do, be it accounting or checking on inventory or polishing, they all like to take breaks from their work to do some designing and try different combinations of stones to create a new piece. Even though that is also work, it’s more of a relaxing thing to do during the day as there is no stress in the design work.
What is your favorite Flames Of The Forest pick right now? And why?
I usually like the uncut and unpolished stones. Our next collection will have a lot more of these coming in. My favourite stone right now would have to be the Meteorite.
What’s the best thing about being a design entrepreneur?
Being able to think of an idea and actually see that idea being created.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve gotten along the way in building your business?
Have a steady foundation, slowly invest in the business and create less risk.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned since starting your business?
Networking is important for growth. Team spirit is also very important. Aim high and stay focused.
You have participated in an earlier edition of By Hand From The Heart what was the BHFTH experience and what have you observed.
Chennai is a great market. We’ve also noticed how By Hand From The Heart does a lot of marketing even when there is no edition coming up. This has helped bring a lot of awareness about the events and we know they have been working very hard towards hosting a great event and we wish them great success.
Chennai has a very arty taste and people enjoy the earthiness of my jewellery.
Jewellery designer, Mrinalini Cariapa, of Flames Of The Forest, Bangalore, will be at By Hand From The Heart: MAKERS MARKET – 18th Edition
Friday – Saturday, 5th – 6th August, 2016
10:00 a.m – 8:00 p.m
Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park
132, T.T.K Road, Alwarpet, Chennai – 600018, Tamil Nadu. India