Our ArtisansEmma Chapman has been working in Jaipur, India, for the last 15 years, where she has family run workshops in the Pink City. She lives between Jaipur and the UK and so has built up a very close working relationship with them. Her goldsmiths come from a long lineage of artisans from Calcutta, who have worked for the Royal Families of Jaipur over the centuries. They are experts at using all the ancient jewellery couture techniques she uses in her work and everything is made by hand.
A lot of jewellery today is machine and factory made and her handmade work is the antithesis of this.
Techniques used in the workshops including intricate hand engraving work, jali and filigree work, stone carving, enamel ( also known as meenakari work), which is famous in Jaipur, Mughal Art work, and Kundan setting. 18ct gold and sterling silver is used in the workshops.
Meenakari work originates from Persia and was initially used in architecture, to adorn the walls, pillars and roofs of the Mughal palaces. It is said that the begums loved it and asked for it to be a part of their jewellery. Over the years, the designs that go into meenakari work have evolved to become a beautiful amalgamation of Persian and Indian styles. Stone carving work is also a speciality of Jaipur. It is an ancient art form that requires great skill and technique, gem carving adds a whole new level of sculptural detail to jewellery. Jali and filigree work involve cutting ornate patterns into the gold and silver and also gets used in stone for architectural work. The engraving work and detail on Emma Chapman’s designs is painstaking and intricate, using highly skilled craftsmanship.
Jaipur is also famous as a stone cutting centre and Emma works with a team of stone cutters there, who carve gemstones from rocks in the back streets of Jaipur. In this way they can create any shape, pattern or cut she wants to work with, making many of her pieces of jewellery unique. Pretty much any gemstone can be sourced, as the city has been a gem trading centre dating back to the days of the silk route.
Emma Chapman believes that handmade jewellery has soul and by working with local goldsmiths and stone cutters she supports many families in Jaipur . She is passionate about keeping these old traditions and skills alive and bringing them into the 21st Century.