Jaipur Jewels & Materials
Jaipur Jewels and Materials – Factory Visits
After we had visited a couple of pretty temples Mob asked if we would “like to visit a jewel shop and material place, but they will want sell you......”. Sounded like fun so we pulled in next to a small polishing shed with huge shop attached. Welcomed by a nice man who explained the process. They deal mostly with semi-precious stones. I heard Bear sigh with relief.......
After a rough cut the stones are ready for the polishing machine. The white paste in the small dish is made from diamond powder. Coconut oil is painted on the spinning disc, it is the only oil that cannot be absorbed into the stone. The ‘arms’ on each side of the spinning disc have tiny holes all the way up the arc where the pointy end of the polishing rod are poked in to get the angle of the facet.
The small pieces of stone are attached to a polishing rods and many lay in wait, they have to be rotated as they get too hot to handle.
The polishers work all day.
Once in the shop we were introduced to hundreds of necklaces of mixed stones, tigers eye, lapis lazuli, sun stone, garnet and so many more. The shorter necklaces start at two pounds, plus six per cent tax. The longer the necklace, the rarer the stones, the price increases.
Rows and rows of every type of ring, brooch, bracelet and at the far end single stones to be chosen and made to order.
Shelves of Hindu gods and goddesses, elephants and all sorts.
My favourite bit was rummaging through two big boxes of pendants seeking bits for my travel bracelet. Bear sat down......but did a bit of rifling too.
I came away with a little elephant (to represent Sri Lanka), a set, semi-precious stone (for India) and an owl (for the Ranthambore National Park as they didn’t have a tiger). Each about six pounds fifty plus tax. Chuffed and delighted. My purse had shuddered on the way in but was very happy on the way out.............
Just a short drive from the jewellers, I got to play at block printing. I was given a little square of white cotton and placed a dye covered block and produced the magic thump. Lifting the block, there was my elephant.
The blocks are teak and carved on site to whatever is needed.
The next two blocks were handed over covered in dye.
Our elephant was complete.
Normally a completed piece would soak in salt for two days, and dried in the sun after a thorough rinsing. No time for our chap so he was given a quick briny swill and rinsed. His colours ‘popped’ and we went inside while he dried.
On a workbench was a completed two metre run costing about eight pounds. I was excited, oh dear.
It was at this point, after being offered water, Coke or masala tea that our guide went into full sales pitch. Groan.
At the other end of so many cuts of fabric, a withering assistant. Some runs were very nice, if a little too ‘busy’ for our liking. Some block printed, some machine produced. Material, sheets, duvets, scarves, shawls, pj’s, dressing gowns – in cotton, cotton mix, linen through to pure silk. I don’t mind paying a pound or two more to support local firms but two and three times the price with questionable quality........ We tried our best looking at male and female shirts, cushion covers, table cloths, table runners and just as we both gave up our guide produced a reject trouser bag. I came away with two fairly shiny trousers at fifty pence each. One has the pockets on the insides of my legs, the other I doubt will manage the art of sitting but.......for working on Beez....happy.
ALL IN ALL PLEASED TO HAVE DONE IT ONCE..............
INTERESTING JEWELS, MATERIALS TOO BUSY AND PUSHY