By LISA KLEIN
Bespoke jewelry designer Neha Dani recently released a new collection, La Pluma, that evokes birds in flight.
Known for her sculptural, gem-packed necklaces, bracelets, rings and earrings, Ms. Dani’s collections bring her latest fancy to life, creating a unique experience for the lucky wearer of each piece.
“I want each piece of jewelry to tell a story, and every work is completely unique,” Ms. Dani said. “I draw inspiration from personal experiences, memories and feelings. Something new can be discovered each time you wear a piece.”
Ms. Dani, 46, grew up in India, falling in love with design and art through worldwide travels with her family and bucking tradition to study at the Gemological Institute of American in California, where she discovered her “lifelong passion for gems.”
The New Delhi-based designer cultivated her unique three-dimensional aesthetic and now creates about a dozen pieces of jewelry a year, hand sculpting every intricate detail in wax rather than relying on now often-used computer software.
“I start with jeweler’s wax as it allows for meticulous detail,” Ms. Dani said. “It also creates spontaneity, as I can rework the wax until I get the final desired design.”
Once the piece is finalized, the designer hand-picks every stone that will adorn her wearable artwork, which is then cast and set by master craftsmen. Each one-of-a-kind item takes months to complete.
Ms. Dani’s themes come from all around her, from flowers to the ocean to outer space. La Pluma draws on the freedom of flying birds, something she thought about a lot during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“La Pluma came out of a hopefulness for the future and being in awe of the power of nature,” Ms. Dani said. “During lockdown I was inspired by the birds flying freely outside, and this allowed me to discover a renewed sense of optimism in the resilience of nature and humanity.
“I wanted to create a new body of work that spoke to the delicate, poetic beauty and freedom symbolized by bird wings,” she said.
The resulting jewels debuted at the prestigious Palm Beach Show in February, the feather-like mini sculptures cast in titanium and set with diamonds and deep-toned emeralds, rubies, amethysts, tanzanite and sapphires.
“For La Pluma, I used brightly colored stones inspired by exotic birds,” Ms. Dani said.
“Creating a piece of jewelry is a meditative journey for me and allows a profound inward experience of following one’s inspiration,” Ms. Dani said. “Each jewel is like a soulmate, and I want the wearer to feel the same connection to herself.”
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