Decadent, exotic, feminine: |

Decadent, exotic, feminine:

Wren Wertin
Special to the DailyWinking like a feline's eyes, the peridots and lemon citrines hang from a golden chain.

All the jewelry is imported from India’s Rajasthan, which literally translated means Land of the Kings.

“There were more kings there than in any other place in India,” said Maruta Kalnins, importer of the jewelry. “These designs are based on what many people, many kings, wore.”

Kalnins travels to India every year in order to supply her Boulder-based store, Mountain Light Imports, with goods. She’s become friends with the families that produce the art. The craft is passed down from generation to generation, and is time consuming and demanding.

In Indian tradition, each stone holds the power of a particular celestial orb. Rubies invoke the sun, and they bring fire. She has a necklace of pearls on which a carved ruby pendant hangs, rimmed with rose-cut diamonds. There is no backing on the red stone, so when worn it touches the skin.

“If you need to wear a ruby, the energy of the ruby, then you need to wear it on your skin,” she said.

Kalnins is drawn to sapphires, Saturn’s stone. According to Indian tradition, someone who isn’t strong enough for sapphires shouldn’t wear them, as they will make life difficult.

All of the ornaments are created with high quality gold, which has its own particular shine. Scarab employee and jeweler Monique Payne remarked on the warmth and craftsmanship of the pieces to be shown.

“They’re newly constructed in an old style,” she said. “The level of the craftsmanship is remarkable.”

A pair of dangling ruby earrings were created with a filigree technique – thin gold wires were curled into intricate patterns and then soldered together. Of particular note is a necklace dripping lemon citrines and peridots from gold, square-ish beads. They seem to be fluid, winking in the lights.

In addition to the gems, Kalnins will also have antique Indian cloths and princess skirts, heavily embroidered with gold threads.

“The original gypsies came from India,” she explained. “Remember how much they like the ornate bangles – these are from that tradition. Of course there are very aesthetic areas of India, but there are very ornate parts, too.”

Kalnins’ Indian imports make up the second art show in the Scarab’s ongoing Friday art series. The jewelry will be on display during the event on Friday from 3 to 7 p.m.; call the Scarab for Saturday hours at 949-1730.

Wren Wertin can be reached via e-mail at or phone at 949-0555 ext. 618.

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