Meet Amman Rashid, the self-taught metalsmith
The face behind Aadi Lohakara, Amman Rashid, enjoys creating organic and rustic pieces of jewellery beautiful asymmetrical shapes and sizes.
He studied Marketing but always had an interest in Art and Design. During one of his long walks through the woods, hediscovered his inspiration to make his first article of jewellery. “I fell in love with nature and started collecting seeds, leaves and other organic items and creating objects.” And that’s where it all started.
When he is not busy attending exhibitions and summits in Dhaka, New Delhi or Malaysia, he’s probably spending time with and rescuing street cats and dogs. Avenue t speaks to the metalsmith on repurposing everyday materials into jewellery and finding the right balance between coins, beads and Fairmined gold and silver.
I was working as a prop designer for a theatre company when I discovered an interest in designing jewellery, and that’s when it all started.
Aadi in Sanskrit means the beginning or primeval, and in Hebrew it means jewel or adornment. In the early days, I used to work with a lot of antique pieces, hence the name Aadi.
My articles are all hand fabricated one of a kind pieces. I recycle and upcycle a lot of items, as well as source beads from various parts of the world to incorporate them in my pieces.
I source a lot of my beads from my travels abroad. I also source coins from dealers. I purchase Fairmined gold and silver so that I can be a part of the movement where there is no exploitation.
My jewellery designs are influenced by nature, trees, and the ocean. I often set out just to collect leaves; I am fascinated by their texture, size, shape and colour. I use them as inspiration and create unique hand fabricated pieces and these are my more popular designs. I also used to work with coins a lot and was known to make pieces out of them.
Amrita Sher Gil was considered Frida Kahlo of the East. She was known for merging East and West in her artworks which I tend to do myself. I admire her as I do Frida and have used both in my pieces. Lalon Shah is another personality that I admire for his stand against class, creed and caste and therefore, have used his image in some of my pieces.
Consumption has become a way of life now; we are all now termed as consumers. This has created a feeling of always desiring new items and the term “old is gold” is losing its importance to the young generation. It is this push towards always purchasing newer items, the preference of having more in quantity than quality that is leading us away from appreciating items that are passed down from yesteryears. However, I do believe we will come full circle and appreciate quality and craftsmanship once again.
Jewellery items are never totally environment friendly. Mining for metals is never good for the environment and neither are the use of chemicals to create jewellery, the dyes that are used in jewellery making nor the packaging. Toxic fumes are emitted during the creation of jewellery as well. As a jeweller, I try to reduce my energy footprint as much as possible by re-using a lot of the metals as well as using a lot of environment friendly items in my pieces.
Consumers have to make sure they know where and how their jewellery is made. They have to ask whether it is Fairmined, whether the products are a result of child labour, etc. One must also be selective as to what material their jewellery is made of . And finally, reduce, reuse and recycle your jewellery. I not only encourage my clients to bring their damaged jewellery and create a new piece from their old items but to also purchase vintage jewellery articles.
I enjoy making one of a kind sculptural wearable art pieces.
Collaborate with international jewellery designers.