BANGALORE : Dharani Kala Prakash was studying international business in the US when life brought her back to her hometown Bangalore in 1993. “I came back to give birth to my son and to start my life as a single mother,” she reminisces. Then unfurled the urge to create a life that would not require her to leave her home to earn a living. And she began to play around with wires, crystals and beads.
Twenty years later, she is a full-time jewellery designer who works on her own terms. She specialises in ‘hand-twisted,' brass and silver coated ghungroo designs and laughs sportingly as she shares how big jewellery brands often copy her patterns. “No one really owns anything,” she smiles. “For me, designing is about passion. You give me a mat, a few beads and a wire and I can create something beautiful. I have always been interested in the arts, and people still recall the tie and dye t-shirts my sister and I would display in Devatha Plaza. My jewellery pieces too are passed on from mothers to daughters even though they are not made of gold or silver.” She displays her works at kitsch bazaars, flea markets and at craft fairs at Chitrakala Parishat. Refusing to mass-produce her works, she says, “People often ask me what metal I use and I tell them that my designs are about workmanship, not about the raw material. I make every piece from scratch and am surprised by what emerges every time I start twisting a wire through a bead. In the 20 years I have been doing this, I have realised that life, like my designs, is simple and complicated at the same time. I have learnt that simplicity is a complex process and you cannot simplify your life and your work without some amount of complication.”
She shares, “Years ago, my entire stock was stolen. I realised then that when passion drives you, nobody can put you down or steal what you have within. It took me just 15 days to start afresh. Life is abundant so I choose to be happy. And I never ask for anything till I have given something away.” Dharani is happy with her niche brand and says, “Everyone could be successful in life if they did not bother with big ambitions. My only desire is to start a bazaar for pure artists who find it hard to showcase their work properly because of high rentals. In the end, art is not about name or fame but about staying in the game. The reason why I am still here and still creating is my son who is now a DJ and charting his own creative journey through life.”