Meet the maker: Shreedevi Madhavan – Earthen Jewellery
Meet Shreedevi Madhavan — a 42-year-old artist who’s the brawn and brain behind the brand Earthen Jewellery.
If you’re familiar with the art of terracotta, you’d know it’s one of the most fascinating facets of pottery. To adapt and use the complex art to create gorgeous jewellery, though, requires special skill — and that’s exactly the kind of talent we’re featuring today.
Meet Shreedevi Madhavan — a 42-year-old artist who’s the brawn and brain behind the brand Earthen Jewellery. Having worked in the customer service field for ten years, she finally decided to let go and pursue her passion. Although she holds a postgraduate degree in sociology and is pursuing an MSc in psychology, it didn’t deter her from backing herself and taking the plunge into the precarious business.
Reminiscing about her modest beginnings, Shreedevi says, “I quit my job and relocated to Gurgaon, where I was with a friend who’s an active volunteer at an NGO named Pragati. I had time on my hands, so I started helping her with her work and slowly started to get engrossed myself. The aim at the time was to raise annual funds for the betterment of the school, and so, in 2009, we came up with the idea of making terracotta jewellery for women. We assumed it would sell well as the girls largely outnumbered the boys at the school, and more importantly, we knew the kids would enjoy working on the pottery wheel as well. We found a potter, made our own designs, and offered vocational training to the kids. The event was a roaring success, which made us ponder if we could take it up as a full-time profession. Both of us were creative and love to indulge in new ideas, and just like that, the brand Earthen jewellery was born.”
After the brand was created, Shreedevi says they had to implement new ideas immediately. The best way to go about it, they thought, was to focus on basic designs. “The plain designs presented us with a lot of scope to not only paint on, but also combine our creations with various other mediums,” she explains. “Our aim was to create contemporary designer terracotta jewellery — something that would complement both western clothes and weddings.” The designs, she says, are completely unique and created by the brand.
While the two friends started out together, Shreedevi shifted to Chennai in 2013 and continued expanding the brand under her own name. Earthen Jewellery’s aim today is to cater to women who are open to experimentation and love trying out new styles. “I specialise in making designer jhumkas, which definitely help you make a bold statement and make heads turn.”
Shreedevi says her creations help women try out new forms of jewellery at an affordable cost. “In the long run, I want to open a gallery and have my own wedding collection of terracotta combined with kundan and ruby stones,” she says. “This will not only encourage plenty of young girls to dress up differently, but at the same time, it’ll help them pull off the traditional look with ease.”
Visit the Earthen Jewellery Shop on Engrave.
To read stories about all our makers click here.