Shaila’s Weblog

Posts Tagged ‘handmade

The art of Theva work and Jewelry came to be in Pratapgarh, Raj, INDIA about  four hundred years ago and has ever since developed under the patronage it received from the rulers.


Rajasthan has been a haven of various art and crafts forms encompassing the spirit of the rajasthani people. Thewa is a jewelry craft practiced by a handful of artisans who specialise in the art of fusing filigreed gold sheets onto glass. The craft of thewa is practised by these hereditary artisans in the small fortified town of Pratapgarh in district Chittorgarh of south Rajasthan and Rampura in Madhya Pradesh. This unique craft uses plaques of glass as its base material. Till today the tradition of using red, green or blue glass continues. The technique of thewa has been used to create marvellous ornaments, plates, trays and jewelry, as well as small objects for daily use.


With high craftsmanship, the pieces of coloured glass are encased in gold plated silver.The colors of glass used commonly, are red, blue and green, due to the non-availability of other colors.


The Art of Making Thewa Jewellery

The desired piece of glass is encased in a frame of gold plated silver wire. A paper-thin sheet of gold, of the same size as the glass, is cut and a free hand sketch of floral or historical motifs is made on it, by special tools. It is then dipped in acid for a while and washed thoroughly with water. A mixture of cinnamon oil and another material known as ‘Ratti’ is brushed at the back, to prevent the metal from melting. The glass is then semi fused and the pattern in gold is carefully slipped over the edge and pressed onto the surface of the glass. The ornamental piece is reheated, till the gold and glass join firmly together. A thin silver foil is fixed on the other side, in order to give it a uniform luster.

The simple raw materials and technique used stand in sharp contrast to the high quality effect of the finished object; no other form of art depicts with such meticulous detail the day-to-day life, legends, battlefields and hunting scenes on such a tiny surface.


The thewa art started 400 years ago when the erstwhile rulers of the area gave a land grant to the families of the artisans practising this craft in Pratapgarh.


Some also claim that the technique actually originated in Bengal. As it did not do well there, Bengali artisans moved westwards in search of patronage and finally settled in Rajasthan where they taught the thewa art to a Soni family. Even before, it is mentioned that the technique used was a family secret.



July 2020