Thewa is a craft form practiced by a small number of artisans who work to fuse filigreed gold sheets onto glass. This hereditary craft is practiced by artisans in the towns of Pratapgarh in Rajasthan and Rampura in Madhya Pradesh.
Even today – these master craftsmen use red, green, or blue glass as a base material. And create beautiful and traditional Thewa jewelry, photo frames, trays, art ware, jewelry boxes, lampshades, flower vases, crystal wine glasses, flasks, glass pots, antique crystal chandeliers, glass coasters, glass lampshades, and glass paintings – that are appreciated by craft connoisseurs and laypersons alike.
The Creation of Thewa Products
Thewa is the art of fusing 23-carat gold with multicoloured glass. The glass is treated with a special process to enable a glittering effect, which then highlights the intricate gold work created on it. Each piece of Thewa Craft can take up to a month to complete.
The process begins with finely ground terracotta that is combined with chemicals and oil to form a thick paste. The paste is spread on a wooden base with a 23-carat gold sheet of 40 gauge thickness on top and then a freehand design is etched onto it. Black paint is then applied over the sheet, highlighting the design so it is visible for detailed finishing with fine tools. The craftsman removes the excess gold and creates a design that is often based on Hindu mythology or Mughal court scenes, historical events, or flora and fauna.
History of Thewa Craft
Thewa Craft is about 400 years old. The tradition was begun by Shri Nathu Lal Sonewal ji and his work was presented to the Prince of Mewar. Soon after – Thewa craft caught the attention of neighbouring royalty. This detailed art process was then patronised by Maharaja Sumant Singh of Pratapgarh. The title of “Raj-Soni” was bestowed upon Shri Sonewal for his talent and skills – the title and its heritage has been passed on to his descendants.
Not just the royal families of India, many British women also chose Thewa Craft jewelry and art pieces and took them back home. European artisans appreciated Thewa Craft for its brilliant finish and intricate, detailed work.
Another fascinating aspect of this lineage is that the secrets of this craft are passed down from father to son for generations, who are known as Raj-Soni’s. Only the male members of the family know the art of Thewa. Women are not taught the craft – as it is believed they will take the family secrets to the home of their in-laws.
While royal families patronised Thewa craft – it was encouraged by the Government. Thewa began to come into the limelight when Shri Ramprasad ji Rajsoni won a National Award for his work. Till date – several members of the Rajsoni family have been awarded by UNESCO, the Government of India and States of India.
WorldArtCommunity and Thewa Art
We are so proud to be associated with Mr. Raghav Raj Soni, son of Shri Mahesh Rajsoni. Shri Mahesh Rajsoni has been the recipient of the Padma Shri from the Government of India. His family has been featured in the LIMCA Yearbook 2011 under the category “Eight National Awards In One Family”.
Raghav Rajsoni’s goal is to nurture and add more dimensions to his treasured craft tradition. He constantly strives to promote the glory of this traditional craft by enhancing its styles and offerings to meet the needs and tastes of today’s generation.
Style Yourself with Thewa Jewelry
Thewa Jewelry is known for its striking hues and intricate patterns, attracting buyers worldwide. Its unusual hues and patterns, its glittering glass and gold combination make for a show–stopper presentation.
Thewa Jewelry pieces can be styled with both ethnic and western attire – making them a versatile and unusual accessory for discerning users.
Explore our curated selection of handmade Thewa Craft here and be delighted !