Way back in the 1960s when Late Devichand Mehta entered the business of retail jewellery in Birur, a small town in Karnataka, by opening a small store, Mehta Gold, little must he have thought that under the stewardship of his son, Sohanraj Mehta, and grandson, Sandeep Mehta, the company would become one of the leaders in manufacturing and supplying temple jewellery across all parts of India, and even in the Middle East. At that time, temple jewellery was in demand only in South of India, but by now, many parts of the country ask for this specialized jewellery.
Says Sandeep Mehta, “Since 2007 we have started supplying temple jewellery across India and UAE. It is in great demand and I have always worked towards optimizing the manufacturing process – making it more and more precise and streamlined.”
Electroforming – the way ahead
In order to take the company ahead, Sandeep added electroforming to the manufacturing process in 2018. “Electroforming increases the precision in the manufacture of jewellery. It was used primarily for fashion jewellery – I have modified the system to make exquisite temple jewellery and the result has been astounding,” reveals Sandeep.
WHAT IS ELECTROFOMING?
Electroforming, also called galvanoplasty, involves making duplicates by electroplating metal onto the mould of an object, then removing the mould. Intricate surface details are reproduced precisely by this process. Electroforming is also used for reproducing medals and for making tubing with precisely controlled dimensions. Micro/nano-electroforming has received considerable interest from various industry sectors as an advanced micro-manufacturing technique that offers high dimensional precision and replication accuracy. When tight feature tolerances and miniaturized geometries are required, electroforming provides unique advantages and cost-effective characteristics for fabrication.
The way it works
The process involves using a mould on which a thick layer of gold plating is run. The gold plating is then affixed onto the specially designed mould, making it take the shape of the mould. Finally,the plating is removed by melting away the mould. “It looks exquisite with antique finish gold polishing. It lends ornaments the element of finesse, and therefore, many women prefer to buy complete sets of temple jewellery for weddings and other functions as well,” explains Sandeep.
The use of red and green semi-precious stones creates a stately look and makes this jewellery appear ethnic, a look which is in great demand within India, and abroad as well. “Modern technology meets tradition in the truest sense when you use electroforming. Presently, I am using it for plain gold temple jewellery, but I am working on extending it to manufacture studded jewellery as well,” informs Sandeep.
Sandeep was the first to use electroforming for making jewellery using 22 carat gold. Till then, many manufacturers were using it to make 18 carat and 14 carat jewellery. This technology is good for intricate work, and the advantage is that while the cost of production is approximately the same as that of hand-made jewellery, the time required is lesser. Adds Sandeep, “We have made coins, guineas, coin necklaces with this technology. We keep creating new textures and finishing for temple jewellery.”
Temple architecture inspires new collection
Temple jewellery has traditionally used deities for inspiration. But Sandeep is now experimenting with architecture as a theme. “Now, we are drawing inspiration from South Indian temple architecture – the pillars, garbhgudi, carvings, ceilings, kalasha, etc. We are using these motifs in our upcoming collection, which we will unveil in the Couture India show to beheld in Delhi,” says Sandeep.
It is hoped that the new technology will result in temple jewellery finding newer markets and customers, both in India and abroad.
Mehta Gold will make its debut at COUTURE India which is scheduled to take place on 28-29-30 August 2021 at Taj Palace, New Delhi