Movement Makes the Piece
Fine jewelry is often so precious that even when it does leave the box, the wearer is so uncomfortable with it on her body that she becomes stiff. For Munnu Kasliwal, the piece had to move with the wearer in a way that it would almost become a part of her.
“He did not consider jewelry as an object, he considered jewelry as a living thing,”
“He did not consider jewelry as an object, he considered jewelry as a living thing,” says his son, Siddharth. Given the late Munnu’s personality — he was thought of to all that met him as a lover of life — it’s no surprise. What is surprising? How each piece so organically moves with the wearer. There are the tassel necklaces, which Munnu started creating more than a decade ago and have oft been imitated since. Even when they’re made of pearls or platinum, those tassels still dust the air as if they were pieces of heavy silk. Flower petals and branch leaves flutter in the wind, fragile and strong at once. And the articulated legs and necks of animal pieces crawl along as if they were alive. On a butterfly piece, for instance, there is a spring mechanism in the wings so that they flutter. The limbs and neck of a turtle-shaped purse move. “I remember asking my father, ‘why are you so focused on making this move?’” Siddharth recalls. “He said, ‘I don’t think it’s just a piece or an object. It’s like a live turtle to me.”
There is a certain vitality to every piece made in the Gem Palace, which may have something to do with the fact that each is crafted by hand from start to finish. The jewelry has a real soul because there’s a real humanity in the process.