If you have a taste for razzmatazz and want to add a spark to your home décor, then Neha Periwal might have something for you. For, the 31-year-old Periwals signature brand of home accessories, Amalgamation, has everything from centre-tables, table clocks, vases, candle-holders and photo-frames, all of which are embellished with finely cut and glittering stones, semi- precious gems and silver. The eye-catching pieces include a shiny moonstone centre-table set with coloured stones, a ceramic vase studded with turquoise and a table clock with a quartz base. The bottom line is all about adding brilliance to your personal space, says Periwal.
Periwal sources her products like vases, photo-frames and showpieces from all over Europe. I pick up striking stuff in glass, ceramic, wood, leather and metal from Germany, Poland and France, she says. All the stones — semi- precious and artificial — are sourced from Jaipur.
I use stones in pink, yellow, aqua and green — in hues that are subtle and not over-the-top, says Periwal. Her team of three artisans adeptly embellishes the products with amethyst and moonstone as well as other coloured stones. She says that cost of pieces is pushed up with the use of semi-precious stones.
Its no wonder that Periwal has a deep love and appreciation of coloured gemstones, for shes from a family of jewellers from Jaipur. She did a course in jewellery designing from the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, Jaipur in 2000 and followed it up by studying gemology from the Gemological Institute of India in Mumbai in 2003. I wanted to experiment with coloured stones and not use them as jewellery pieces, she says.
After moving to Calcutta, following her marriage in 2005, she put her ideas into practice. Periwal started off by designing vases and photo-frames that used coloured stones in their designs and gifted them to friends and family. Everyone egged me on to go ahead and I launched Amalgamation in 2006, she says.
By the Diwali of 2006 she was ready with a collection that was exhibited at Parampara, a lifestyle exhibition in Calcutta. This was followed by other exhibitions including The Prana Exhibition and Nouveau in Calcutta, Vivah in Mumbai and others in Chennai and Guwahati. Today, Periwal retails from her Alipore residence by appointment, though she now plans to retail from lifestyle stores as well. She brings out a new range of products every Diwali and exhibits in Delhi, Bangalore and Hyderabad.
Periwal admits that premium home accessories move faster in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore though Calcutta has also caught up. The notion of Calcutta being a price-sensitive market is now redundant. There are people in the city who value quality products, even if they have to pay a premium price for them, says Periwal.
Periwal initially used a lot of Victorian motifs like birds, horses, butterflies and intricate patterns on her products. But of late, urban families prefer simpler designs with straight and tidy lines, she says. Periwal also says that theres a big market for handcrafted products and coloured stone-embellishment in India.
Want to add a spark to the favourite corner of your room? Go for a black sculptural piece thats shaped like an inverted pitcher. Its detailed with a detachable peacock designed with white and emerald-coloured stones (Rs 15,000). A side-table with detachable flowers is set with turquoise (Rs 18,000).
Table clocks by Amalgamation are priced between Rs 4,000 and Rs 10,000. While one has a timepiece fixed on a pink quartz rock with a stone-encrusted bird perched on it, anothers encrusted with yellow-coloured stones. An unusual piece is a glass vase, designed to look as though a portion of its brim is peeling off. This portion is adorned with white and oxidised artificial stones and silver (Rs 25,000). A lot of effort and time went in to design this piece, says Periwal.
The photo-frames are metal- and leather-bound, and have designs with artificial stones that look like rhodolite, sapphire and topaz. A leather-bound frame has a figure of a horses head studded with black-and-white stones. Prices range from Rs 4,500 to Rs 10,000.
You can also pick up colourful glass candle-holders encrusted with stones that resemble rubellite, green emerald and amethyst. (Rs 5,000 to Rs 8,000).
One for the road: Chambord is a raspberry liqueur, based on a recipe from the 17th century. The liqueur was introduced to Louis XIV during one of his visits to the Château de Chambord. Made with red and black raspberries, Madagascar vanilla, Moroccan citrus peel, honey and cognac, it’s currently produced in a traditional château in France’s Loire Valley.