Ikroop, a glass designer creates stellar iridescent jewellery by marrying a European glass fusion art with Indian karigars
Ikroop may very well be one of the only brands in India that marries the European art form of glass fusion, with Indian karigari, to create accessories that are wearable and unique. The eponymous label by glass artist Ikroop, started a few years ago when she was working in Mumbai. With a penchant for the creative arts, Ikroop knew she wanted to explore but wasn’t sure how. “Not being a trained designer made the decision tougher. While I was toying with the idea, I happened to visit Venice in Italy. It's there that I became accustomed to Murano art,” explains Ikroop. Murano, a tiny island off the coast of Venice, is considered the Glass Art capital of the world. “I was so mesmerised by the art form that I witnessed there that I instantly knew - glass was the medium I wanted to explore.”
That trip set the ball rolling. What followed was months of research to find resources, training, raw material. Since no one was doing it in India, information was scarce and equipment unavailable for Ikroop. “It was then that I met Atul Bakshi, renowned India artist who does a lot of work in stained glass. I was fortunate enough to intern at his studio and it was during my time there with the glass masters that I understood the nuance of the medium. “ A chance conversation with a friend led to the creation of her first collection. has
The designer has now launched a new collection, and we got talking to her about her inspiration, her process and what goes into making an Ikroop piece.
Tell us about the new collection and what is it about.
My latest collection is titled BE STELLAR. In all of my work, the glass is always the hero and in this collection I’ve used Iridescent clear glass. What's special about the glass is that its has an inherent night –sky like shimmer but at the same time its colour less making it very versatile to style. One doesn’t have to think about what colour palette to pair it with because it gels seamlessly with all colours. The collection has a mix of contemporary easy to wear designs along with some statement pieces for occasional wear
The theme for the collection came to me when I was researching for the next set of designs. A lot of forms that I wanted to use were celestial and with the glass being what it was, I know the theme had to be star like.
The collection was titled Be Stellar – which literally translates to B STAR – for us it’s a celebration of the inner light that each one of us possesses and should embrace
What is the process that goes into creating an ikroop piece.
Glass fusion, the technique I used to create the glass, involves melting the glass in a bhatti( kiln)at over 1000 degrees. Glass is a whimsical medium, Its both brittle yet strong. Once in the kiln, it tends to have a mind of its own which is why no two pieces that emerge from the kiln are ever alike, making each piece unique - one of a kind.
The first phase of the creation is the making of the glass cabochons. I try and use unique treatments to create an assortment of glass cabochons. Dichroic, Iridescent, Fused, Frit are different ways of creating the glass. The glass making process in itself goes through a few rounds till the final cabochons are created. Post that, they are then designed into jewelry. I consider myself a glass artist first , one who uses jewelry as a canvas to express their art, and then a designer.
How many pieces does Stellar have?
The collection BE STELLAR has 20 pieces of jewelry which are further available in silver and gold variants
Tell us about your previous collection.
Glass is and always will be, the hero of my work and in all my past collections I’ve tried to present its diversity as a medium while keeping a strong Indian connection. For e.g In the Collection titled Kaleidoscope , I used a lot of colour play along with Indian motifs like Lotus and Trishuls. In Be No Evil – I presented the evil eye motif in a contemporary avatar. The Be Clear Collection has a lot of traditional Indian jewelry influences but instead of the regular stones or pears I used glass which gave it a unique look. An amalgam of contemporary and traditional.
Where do you create all your pieces, as in where is your production done and do you have a team?
Yes I have a team that helps me make my work. I have glass masters and karigars for the glass and jewelry creation respectively. The glass is created in our studio in Gurgaon. The jewelry is made in our workshop in Delhi, parts of it also come from Jaipur.
All the new pieces I make myself. Which is actually the reason why I say Im a glass artist before a designer.
Where is the glass sourced from.
The raw materials are sourced from a lot of places – Part of it comes from USA, that’s because Indian raw glass doesn’t have the required standardization for the production process. Equipment and chemicals are from across the country
From 2000 to 5500 across rings, cuffs, earrings and neck pieces