“Artisans of Khambhat” - The Pride of Agate Stones
People sharing different ideologies, cultures, religions, and customs have always formed the rich foundation on which India's exquisiteness lies. The unparallel Culture of artisans in India is what creates the quintessential nature of the country. For jewellery enthusiasts, stones have always been an essential part of their regional collection. And nothing can beat the aura of an agate stone collection - a must for any diamanté (gemstones) collector.
Agate Stones were cut and polished as decorative items for thousands of years in Khambhat, India. Khambhat, also known as Cambay, is an ancient town in Gujarat. The city of Khambhat is the hub for Agate stone jewellery and decorative items. Artisans have for generations pursued this craft as a lucrative business. A culture which started 5000 years back during the Indus Valley civilization became an integral part of the lifestyle of the aristocrats of those times. A culture which differentiated the upper class from the lower. Society died as time passed, but the heritage continued to live. Agate found various gemstones; each weaves its own story and repulsiveness. The affinity of the stone, which brings calmness and steadiness, has its zeal appeal to mother Earth.
Local artisans here went on to create and preserve this heritage which made an integral part of the rich Indian craft and Culture. From designing to technique, everything is broken down into essential skills to create each unique piece of handiwork. The mystical elements are filled with the artisans' emotions and experiences and then molded to give them a distinctive identity. However easy it may seem; craftsmanship is a fundamental process where the role of the artisan is to provide a robust and inspiring vision for each piece created. What stone to pick, the size, and shape and then blend it to give that alluring look is a process in itself.
These artisans at Khambhat are part of the longest dynasty of bead-making and provide a unique opportunity from generation to generation. The versatility and transformative effect that agate stone brings on the blank canvas is marvelous. From small in-home shops to enduring the concept of entrepreneurship, these artisans' journey has not been easy. Their struggles have been natural, from traditional designs that had been their forte to meeting the growing demands and catering to international markets.
When a long lineage of artisans passes their craft to future generations, it is easy to lose perspective. But the artisans of Khambhat strive daily not only to provide a livelihood for themselves but also protect a creative process which we are arrogantly proud of. Although they are yet to reach their full potential, these craftsman are known to wonderfully intricate delicate stone into Magnus opus.
Experiencing a creative liberation that transgresses previous norms, we at Jan Jyoti are adapting and inventing novel pairing and contrasting harmonies to uplift the rural artisans and help their art reach the world. We aim to provide a platform for these artisans to successfully keep up with the changing technology in their favour and yet preserve their artisanal skills.