By Hand From The Heart is a biannual Makers Market held in Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India.
Today we feature, jewellery designer Bernice Vijayan of KAYEL, Chennaiin our ongoing Meet The Maker Series featuring the participants at our October 2016 Makers Market. Bernice talks about her creative venture and her passion for design she also shares with us her entrepreneurial journey, current works and her inspirations that she translates into jewelry.
I’m Bernice Vijayan, a Chennai based artist, textile/fashion and jewellery designer. Graduated from Stella Maris, Chennai and worked as a self employed artist and also as a textile designer for 3+ years for Shilpi, Chennai under the mentor ship of Mrs. Arundhati Menon and set out to start my own brand of jewellery and accessories.
What you do, how long have you been creating ?
After travelling the extents of our country at different occasions, it had encouraged and inspirited in me the accountability to handout and to share all the elementary and complex patterns, colours and stories in to one fundamental component which not only is a piece of art but also a preeminent part of our lifestyle.
“Handcrafted Jewelry”. Kayel started in 2011 mainly focusing on handcrafted jewelry and the urge to put a part of my thoughts and its process into intricate pieces of elements. I would express my work to be subtle yet exuberant. There are parts that comes in strong as well parts that is very blatant and at the same time cultured.
Why is making important to you ?
As an Indian, I am a inhabitant being surrounded astounding culture and history and unbelievable works of architecture, fashion and historic lifestyles. It’s important and necessary that everyone must create and give back to what inspires you. I take up creating works of art and jewellery because it’s something you can’t hold back. You can never keep taking in and not give back. At some point it’s a liability. A necessary liability.
Your work place.
We at Kayel, are a small group of skilled workers who are mainly unprivileged women.
Each one of them carry a different background and an amazing story, which serves as an inspiration too.
It’s at my residence that I have allocated a space for them to work. I work, teach and equip them with techniques and styles and they carry forward. I make sure they take a step off of their nutshell and I encourage them to be creative in bringing in more options of textures, colours and combinations to the table.
We work from 11-7. I give them a template or pre made design which I design and then explain it to them and we have a target to achieve everyday.
Biggest lesson since starting your business !?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned after starting my business back in 2011 is that, nobody runs alone. The African proverb is something which overwhelmed me. “If you want to go fast, run alone. If you want to go far, run together.” I think more than money and success, it’s the process. Eventually everyone will get better at what they do in a year from now, no doubt. But I believe it’s not about the product at the end, it’s about the process that excites me.
I consider people as my bigger strength. People who are willing to learn and grow. This business not only taught me how to design and execute. It taught me more, on handling people and management skills. My mother helps me to a great extent in supervision and in managing work when I’m travelling or not available.
What’s your favourite pick in your brand ?
With so many combinations and patterns which seamlessly keeps processing in our minds and still some choose to stand out, connecting in very peculiar manners.
The brass collection is something that I adore. The whole concept of timelessness and never ageing and even as a matter of fact if we could time travel a 100-200 years, people still would be displaying these beautiful elements in their lifestyles. The fact that brass even when dulls in Color and in shine can always be brought back to life.
My personal favourite is the whole brass line of works from Kayel.
Displaying at the event ?
For something as exclusive as By Hand, From The Heart, my main aim is to showcase the best of all my works. I will be showcasing my iconic brass collections which is timeless and something which never runs out of juice.
Copper wired bangles are again something that I had in mind for a long time and had intensely inspired me . Contrasting yet subtle with the exposed copper wire is something that is visually very exciting.
I’ll be exhibiting trinkets. Which are highly vibrant and resonating. There’s a huge range of emotions and characters that come in hand with these trinkets.
Beaded jewellery – glass beads and semi precious stones are on majority. I consider these pieces of art very bold and authoritative. These beads also come in various colours, shapes and sizes. There’s something for everyone.
They says .. “Home is where the heart is” and I truly appreciate and believe in that. Chennai is been more than a city and a hometown. It’s been welcoming and everything is right here. The old buildings and a rich past and heritage which makes it more astounding and gives us more reasons to fall in love with the city. The ocean and the people who never rest, always seamlessly on the move.
I think Chennai is one of the best things, that’s happened to me. Inspiring me for work and for life. I always will be in debt, for taking so much and not be able to give it back to this beautiful and this amazing city.
At the Makers Market exhibition in Chennai this October, meet the maker!
By Hand From The Heart: MAKERS MARKET – Festival Special – 19th Edition
Date: Friday – Saturday, 7th – 8th October, 2016
Time: 10:00 a.m – 8:00 p.m
Venue: Crowne Plaza Chennai Adyar Park
Address: 132, T.T.K Road, Alwarpet, Chennai – 600018, Tamil Nadu. India