Heart of Glass – Thewa

I’ve been looking around for some new jewelry. I began thinking about different mediums and started contemplating glass. Glass has the ability to take on the robust colour qualities of gems like emeralds and rubies, yet it is unfortunate that most glass jewelry you can find has a uninspired flea market feel to it. In my research, I came across the beautiful, ancient, and not to mention top secret, art of thewa.

A traditional thewa statement necklace…

Thewa is essentially the embossing process of intricately carved out designs on sheets of 23 karat gold onto molten glass. It was invented by Nathu ji Soni in the Pratappgargh district of Rajsthan during the Mughal age. Its methods have been passed on from father to son for generations, remaining solely with one single family.

A box depicting a king’s procession done with original thewa work

The technique has been used on a spectrum of objects, from boxes, wine glasses and mirrors but because the secret of the craft has been so heavily guarded any interpretations of the design have been created by guessing what the process exactly entails.

Perhaps the answer to this jewelry craving lies in a unique piece of thewa art.

– by Aarti Jesrani