Following the centuries old family profession of making a range of alluring meenakari jewels for royal families, Jaswant Kumar Meenakar collabortes with Rajasthan Studio master to conduct masterclasses for tourists and art enthusiasts in Jaipur.
A master craftsman with 450 years old family tradition of making coveted meenakari jewels for the rich, famous, and aristocrats has started taking small batches of art enthusiasts into his home for masterclasses as well as art residencies.
He learned this beautiful art of enamelling from his National Award winner Father and now his son, after completing the graduation in design has also joined his venture of conducting masterclasses to hone his skills.
A quiet room in his humble haveli where he has set up the workshop is filled with his meenakari tools and creations. From this haveli, he makes some of India’s most prized and expensive meenakari jewels, earning him the patronage of India’s royal families and VIP families across the world.
For those oblivious of this enamaoring art, meenakari is an ancient form of enamel painting on gold, silver, brass, or copper, using a small selection of colours and tools. This art form was first popularised in India by the Mughals.
Rajasthan Studio, a Jaipur-based organisation that directly links artists to travellers by way of selling ‘art experiences’. Through Rajasthan Studio, you can book yourself a masterclass with me and see what we, the meenakari artists, are doing. As you know, meenakari work is basically enamel painting on gold, silver or metal, an art that was brought to India by Mughal emperors.
He gets amused when people ask pertinent questions about the source of the colours, the different metals used, the origins of the motifs and designs that characterise meenakari work, and the tools. He believes that through the right platform and marketing, people can think of meenakari beyond just pretty jewellery and understand its importance to Indian culture.
For art loving travellers,it’s a treat to make a piece of the city’s most iconic art form by their own hands. For those with a profound interest and time at their disposal, they can even study meenakari art with me through an art residency.