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    Jeweller Amrita Giriraj’s new project helps you preserve flowers, ferns and more

    The floods in Chennai, apart from destroying homes and material possessions have ravaged gardens and landscapes too. One of the multitudes who experienced this was Amrita Giriraj, founder and designer of the six-month- old jewellery brand Vya. “My garden was blooming with roses, lilies, malli poo (shoe flower), dandelions and other ferns but after the floods, it was submerged under three feet of water,” says the 24-year-old designer living in T Nagar. She decided to preserve them by launching another collection Roslina, dedicated to petrifying ferns and flowers and incorporating them into rings, chokers, bracelets, anklets, hair clips and charms.
    After her collection around shells called Ora, for which she worked with seashell craftsmen of Kanyakumari, this is her second foray into preservation of nature. “The first piece I petrified was the Dandelion because it is my absolute favourite,” admits Giriraj. The process she follows to create pieces is simple. After washing the collected ferns or flowers, she places them in a rubber mould and pours polyurethane in it. “Then, I wait for about 18-24 hours, incorporate it into a zinc alloy metal and voila – a piece of nature is preserved forever,” describes the city-based entrepreneur. She plans to use the technique to adorn picture frames, notebooks and jewellery boxes as well. Her collection is available at The Artist Project and The World Art Community.
    Recently, one of her clients had just returned from their honeymoon in Maldives and wanted some shells preserved. Giriraj incorporated the shells into a pair of earrings, preserving their memories effectively. “I hope once people know what I am doing, they would come forward to preserve the memories they managed to save from the floods too,” she concludes.
    From Rs 300 onwards. Details: 9940520028

    —Seema Rajpal

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