If diamonds are forever, but will also take forever to pay for - have you ever considered a ‘forever rose?’ Ironically, Amrita Giriraj stumbled upon the idea when the Chennai floods destroyed her beloved garden, and since then has developed a custom line of jewellery that preserves a rose with its original deep colouring, placed delicately in a lacquer globe.
For those sceptical about how long it will last, the 24-year-old shares, “The flowers are first sundried to remove any moisture and that’s how I retain their colour. So far, everything I created from three months ago looks like it did on the first day.” The roses are encased in lacquer, commonly used on Tanjore paintings or on top of teak wood to prevent termites. Amrita adds, “Since lacquer is organic and the flowers are unexposed, honestly I think the metal on the jewellery will start to deteriorate long before the rose!”
The line named after the flower that inspired it, ‘Roslina’, has become a huge hit ever since it made its debut on social media about a month ago. “I’m full up on orders for Valentine’s Day,” Amrita says. She adds, “The irony is that most of my requests, even before February have been from guys - who want to make this a gift for their spouse or girlfriend.”
The best part about this process, she says, is that a couple can take to her a rose from a recent date or anniversary, and the necklace or pair of earrings can preserve a memory, rather than be bought off the shelf.
Another venture that is similarly exciting is Sowjanya Varma’s Petal Passion project. The youngster uses ‘processed petals’ to make earrings along with a group of friends from the WLCI college at Teynampet. “We’ve tried everything from rose petals to hisbiscuses, orchids, even neem bark,” she tells us.
The petal earrings are priced from Rs 100-150. Contact 7299994858.
Roslina by Amrita Giriraj’s brand Vya is priced between Rs 300 and Rs 1,200. Contact 9940520028.
Special ‘Paper’ for Your Love Letter
For those who want to go old school and opt for a handwritten love letter, floral stationery with vibrant colours may up the ante this year. And if you are looking for an extra dose of special, Savita Narasimhan tells us her stationery incorporates flowers from around the world on her travels. “I’ve used everything from Japanese cherry blossoms to sunflowers and autumn-coloured leaves,” she says. How does she retain their colour? “If flowers are pressed when fresh and vacuum sealed, then you don’t lose the magic.” The paper that comes in custom sizes is priced between Rs 20 and Rs 500. For details, contact 9840754459.