VTG INDIAN RAJASTHAN LAC ENAMEL ON GOLD-PLATED STERLING & COBALT BLUE TRANSLUCENT GLASS BEAD NECKLACE ~A LA BOLLYWOOD ~
Traditional ethnic necklace hand-made in Rajasthan India. This piece is phenomenal and the amount of work that goes into making a piece like this is incredible.
This necklace consists of a chain made up of 3.5mm cobalt blue translucent glass beads. The Pendant is intricately designed with the Lac process (see below for “what goes into the Making of Lac Enamel Piece”)
It takes 9 different craftsmen to produce each piece. Many small pieces are joined together to get one complete earring/necklace/pendant. From start to finish it takes up to 15 man hours to complete one medium sized piece.
Measurements; 24" long; Pendant measures 2" wide x 1 1/4" long
What Goes Into the Making of LAC Enamel Piece:
A centuries old tradition. Lakh jewelry comes from the Indian state of Rajasthan. It takes the work of many specialists and around 16 hours to produce a single piece, the manufacture of lakh jewelry is a real "cottage industry" involving families and friends.
As each piece goes through the various stages of production, it moves from house to house to the various specialists along the ancient streets of Rajasthan.
Begins with a Beetle. Lac is a natural resin secreted by an insect onto branches. The Lac is harvested by villagers and melted, cleaned and stretched into thin straw-like strands (the thinning of the lac is explained later).
The Lac isnt visible on the piece as it is used to fill the segments, making the pieces strong and solid in feel. The exterior surfaces of enameled silver or foil cover the hardened lac.
And a great old design . . a metal die which may be used for years is used to make each piece segment. Silver or foil is stamped against the die and the pieces are formed together to form a hollow shell, ready for filling with lakh.
A Craftsmen puts a thin silver sheet over a brass die (which has the design engraved in it.
Craftsmen then softly molds the design onto the silver sheet by the use of cloth hammer untill the design comes on the silver sheet (both for front and back of the mould)
The frame is now ready for further work
Craftsmen applies Meena work to the pieces.
At this stage the pieces are very fragile as they are a simple silver shell and therefore must be handled with great care
In this next stage lac is filled into the silver frame.
These are created by heating lac in a simple cauldron, then stretching and rolling the lac into tiny straws. These straws are then slowly put inside the tiny holes in the (heated) frame, which melts the lac to fill the inside of each piece and make it solid and give it strength (very much like strong wood in feel)
Each piece is washed and then a layer of polish is applied several times for the shine. Depending on the type of piece in development, the piece may be heated in order for stones or beads to be applied into the silver foil and Lakh. When heated slightly, the Lakh softens allowing stones or other objects to be fastened and secured.
Additional colours may be applied as well as detailed meena handiwork. Paints and dyes are chipped from solid blocks of enamel and mixed with water to create deep and lively natural colours.
Pieces can come in many colours such as Turquoise, Blue, Maroon, Red, Gold and many other bright and contrasting sets
In the final stages each piece is cleaned, polished and then the remaining work is performed. Usually by this stage each piece has passed through a number of villagers who specialise is each certain part of the work or sub projects to each piece. Lakh manufacture, beading, design, paint and other projects all contribute to the finished piece from other parts of the village.
In this final stage, these sub projects come together as the piece is tied and with beads or rope ties. Beads and stones are also introduced and the rest of the design is completed. Small wire works are introduced to the piece and then subsequently tied off with chandeliers, beading or other ties.
The final pieces, once assembled are then measured, cleaned and dried.
Vtg Indian RAJASTHAN Lac Enamel Sterling & Cobalt Glass Bead NECKLACE Bollywood