Jadau work is team work, where a group of craftsmen are involved together. Each craftsman carries out a specific task related to the jewellery creation. The Chiterias make the basic design, Ghaarias are responsible for engraving and making holes, Meenakari or Enamelling is done by the enameller and the goldsmith takes care of the kundan or the gold. The word kundan means highly refined gold, and a highly refined and pure form of molten gold is used.
1. Gadhayi : The first step of creating this unique jewellery is to define the structure with gold strips. Image of a typical mould like framework is set according to the design using thin gold strips:
They are cut, coiled and shaped by the karigar. This is the most important step to establish the foundation of the piece.
2. Khudhayi : What follows is engraving of the outer surface with the planned designs and patterns. The framework filled with lac or gold is then engraved in this process known as 'Khudayi'.
Its is basically etching the planned pattern or design on the surface of the jewellery piece. Engraving requires a steady hand, high precision and concentration. Each piece is hand finished by countless hours of hard work by skilled artisans.
3. Meenakari : The engraved patterns on the gold surface are then filled with various natural colours. 'Meenakari' is enamelling the jewellery. Special colours are mixed and applied with various tools in the engraved pattern.
In order to set the colours, the piece is heated/fired. The process is repeated as many times as the number of colours used.
4. Jadhayi : Last step to enhance the beauty of the jewellery, is setting precious stones such as diamond polkis / rubies / emeralds etc into the piece.
It is the process of gem setting by inserting a gold foil between the stones and their mount. Diamonds, Polkis, Kundan and various rare precious stones are placed on the surface of the jewellery piece and supported by the gold foiling so that the gemstones can grip on tightly.