Terracotta literally means ‘baked earth’ and is made from natural clay, giving it a reddish-brown color. It may be glazed for durability or to add color. Being water proof and sturdy, several ancient sculptures in this clay are still intact. It was used traditionally to create figures of deities on festive occasions and ceremonies besides its use in jewelry and handicrafts.
Since early times, terracotta has been used in pottery, designing sculptures and also for constructing homes. Terracotta is a form of ceramic which is molded when it is in the form of clay and is then baked. Besides using terracotta for decorative items like vases, pots and so on, it is now increasingly being used for making a variety of products such as jewelry, smoking pipes and bangles.
This rich heritage of terracotta jewelry is popular in fashion scene today and is sought after by many designers globally. The exceptional terracotta craftsmanship presents exquisite designs that are considered a fashion statement even today.
To decorate the jewelry incising patterns are made on its surface, followed by glazing and colouring to add the final touch. In some designs mottled effect is created for cosmetic improvements.
Terracota jewelry is an exotic form of ornamentation that adds a Bohemian look and can be teamed up with bright colored outfits. The terracotta jewelry is hand painted in earthy hues – brown, grey, blue, green, pink and red – all adding a rustic touch to each jewellery piece. Conventional and the most popular motifs designed in terracotta jewellery include human figurines, animals or the gods of the tribes. But to add a modish touch artisans often depict contemporary shapes and patterns.
Terracotta craftsmen are diversifying their craft to produce novel and innovative jewelry to beautifully create a fusion of the old with the new. Terracotta jewelry is fashioned to mimic Kundan or Meenakari with an astounding detail and finish. Tribal jewelry in terracotta is very popular among teens and young adults.
Simple designs of Terracotta with minimal details can be combined with semi-formal, ethnic wear or even everyday wear. Heavily embellished jhumkas, earrings, pendants, rings, bracelets and bangles are an apt accessory for teaming up with lehengas, Anarkali kurtas and traditional heavier saris. Clay art and jewelry makes for ideal gifting items, and suits ethnic and Western wear as they come in traditional and modern designs.
Being non-reactive in nature, Clay and Terracotta jewelry suits all skin types, and does not cause allergies.