Days of jewellery being considered as a metal of investment, to be worn during weddings is passe. With prominence given to design element, exclusive jewellery aficionados seek out exclusivity that materials such as terracotta provides.
Considering the changing tastes of Indian women, terracotta jewellery, in a range of designs and earthy colours besides being cheap, seems to have become a staple fashion accessory. It is also considered to be extremely functional and durable while giving that ethnic and contemporary experience.
"Terracotta jewellery will never go out of season. It has more character than silver and gold. Terracotta jewellery cuts across all age-groups. Women in their 50's enjoy wearing it as much as the college-going girls," says Hema S Subramanyam, who owns an ethnic terracotta jewellery line in Hyderabad.
Derived from the Italian word that literally means cooked or fired earth, terracotta is made from river-bed clay which is dried, kiln-fired and hand painted. It was earlier used for
making earthen handicrafts and pots and nowadays jewellery also. The uniqueness lies in the fact that it can be moulded in numerous ways using hands.
Different rough and glazed finishes can be given in terracotta jewellery. They are painted, carved or embedded with stones or beads and embossed with patterns. Unlike gold, silver and other precious metals and stones, terracotta jewellery usually does not burn a hole in the pocket with even bridal jewellery being offered in terracotta material.