Homegrown label Madraskarri uses soda caps and stained glass shards to make upcycled jewellery
One hundred and fifty small safety pins and 800 seed beads is what it takes for this Chennai-based jewellery designer, to make a choker necklace. Nidhi, who recently launched her label Madraskarri at a pop-up in Amethyst is not your run-of-the-mill designer. If your regular go-to accessories are getting monotonous, then opt for Madraskarri, which offers upcycled accessories that can help you amp up your outfit this summer. This six month old startup, run solely by Nidhi, is an accessory line that strikes just the right balance between traditional and modern designs.
With designs for both men and women, Nidhi’s line of accessories includes colourful handcrafted finger rings, pendants and bracelets and these artefacts are made using materials like safety pins, soda bottle caps, old magazines, leftover fabrics and stained glass shard to name a few.
The 27-year-old studied fashion designing from Hamstech Institute in Hyderabad and specialised in apparel designing. Her aim was “to repurpose and upcycle what was available in our day to day life.” Inquisitive, about the name of the brand, we asked Nidhi what it means and she says that her friends always called her Chennaiwalli or madraswalli back in Hyderabad. “I wanted the brand name to focus on its origin. Naming the brand after my name or part of my name would be too much of a cliché.”
As we scroll through her Instagram page (@Namma_Madraskarri), we see eye-catching accessories like rings and pendants in a myriad of colours, patterns, and designs, that makes you want to take a closer peek at each picture. Talking about the process, she says she takes nothing less than three hours to complete a product. “Sometimes it requires even a day to let the project set, as lacquer is used to make it water and sweat resistant,” says Nidhi. “There is a little bit of math, physics, and chemistry involved in the process. I need to calculate the number of beads to create a design and the kind of material that I use, to attain perfect ‘fabric to bead’ balance. I also mix and match before using any chemical-based pigments.” Nidhi does this to see how differently each medium reacts with alcohol ink or any other chemical based paints. “The design outcome for each will be different, so I first make a trial piece before I hand make the original piece.” After Amethyst, Madraskarri will have their second pop-up at Madras Margarita held at Tiki Taka T.Nagar, on June 23 and 24.
The designer now believes in making the best out of waste through recycling and conservation, and further tells us about the biggest challenge she has faced. “It was to make people aware of why any handmade products are special and slightly expensive. The price is not for the product, but for the time, energy, efforts and one’s ideas that went into creating each piece.” While she takes on projects where she’s fully committed to, there are other projects that happen out of sheer curiosity.Next in line is the colour-blocked jewellery technique, which first started out as a candle, and ended up being a colour-blocked neckpiece, thanks to Nidhi’s curiosity. “I mixed raw wax and coloured pigments just to see what would happens,” she says with a grin. Her new collection currently has 40 pieces of different necklaces and 20 pieces of bracelets all up for sale at the pop-up.
From Rs 250 onwards