We have talked in the past about some of most extraordinary and rightly famous jewellery designers of times past and present, but this time we want to throw the spotlight on the relatively unknown Neha Dani, who has followed a career in gemmology and jewellery design that has taken her across three continents and today creates some of the most dazzling and original pieces we have ever seen.
Neha Dani was born and raised in South India and as a result of her privileged upbringing was exposed to the greatest art and design of all the ages, visiting museums and art galleries across the world with her family. After finishing school, she defied her family’s expectations and, rather than marry and start a family of her own, enrolled in gemmology classes at the Gemological Institute of America, in Southern California.
After graduating from the GIA, she went on to become a fellow of the Gemmological Association ofGreat Britain, before returning to India to join International Gemological Institute at their new Mumbai laboratory and it was this move that led her to, at last, designing her own, unique pieces with the fine gems and diamonds she is so familiar with.
Neha’s style is fluid, organic and,, while undoubtedly contemporary, is ultimately timeless. She takes her inspiration from nature, from the pure beauty of leaves and plants, from both the land and the sea.
As a creator of couture jewellery, or haute joaillerie, to use the French internationally accepted term, Neha creates each piece using traditional methods.
She first draws her designs on paper, before translating her ideas to an actual-size 3D wax model. By working in wax, she can re-shape and manipulate her design until it takes the form she has dreamed of.
When Neha is satisfied with its design, it is passed to craftsmen to bring it to fabulous, bejewelled life.
Contemporary and unique
Neha’s ‘classic’ collection uses yellow, white and rose gold as the visible precious metal, lending a more traditional feel to her designs.
However, in her contemporary collection, she has developed a signature use of coloured rhodium plating over 18k gold, resulting in breathtakingly sculptural pieces that vibrate with colour and life.
Whichever you prefer, you can’t argue that this relatively new face in haute joaillerie design is one to be welcomed with open arms, as both a provider of inspiration and driver of new frontiers in jewellery design.