|Geeta Devi with her designs in Ranchi on Tuesday. Picture by Hardeep Singh
If you are looking for offbeat yet arresting silver jewellery options, the ongoing Madhubani art exhibition at Bihar Club in Ranchi is just the place to be.
College girls are seen thronging Ramgarh-based Geeta Devi’s kiosk. The artisan’s handmade tribal silver jewellery has found favour with the trendy crowd.
“It’s chic and different. The silver jewellery is worth purchasing,” said second-year student of Ranchi Women’s College Preeti Kumari, who visited the fair along with her group of friends.
Another college girl Rageshwari Rai was spotted picking up a silver bracelet. “These are not available anywhere in the capital’s outlets. The attractive patterns and intricate craftsmanship are a feast for the eyes,” she said.
She added she was surprised to see antique jewellery pieces such as bazuband at the kiosk. “I felt really excited as it reminded me of my grandmother,” she smiled.
Fair organiser Vijay Kumar Jha said interesting pieces of jewellery such as hasli and matarlol were making a comeback.
Earrings are also popular with visitors. Oxidised silver earrings, those designed by using original 2-paise coins or glitzy ones studded with precious stones are flying off the racks. The price ranges from Rs 250 to Rs 2,500, depending upon the size and design.
Artisan Geeta Devi (35) has a feeling of accomplishment. “I’m proud that the skill, a family legacy, has finally got due recognition,” she said.
Geeta said she picked up the craft from her father and had ample support of her husband. “I have been designing jewellery for the past 15 years. It takes four days of painstaking effort to create one pair of earrings,” she added.
Geeta admitted that tribal jewellery, the pride of Jharkhand, was inching towards oblivion due to lack of exposure.
“I took the step to promote our tradition through these platforms. I design the pieces throughout the year. Whenever I get an opportunity, I sell them through exhibitions as I can’t afford my own outlet,” she said, adding her work had great demand in Mumbai, Bangalore and Calcutta.
The 10-day fair, which is being hosted by Madhubani-based NGO Shilpika and handicraft commissioner under Union ministry of textiles, will end on Thursday.