By Anthony DeMarco in New York
Coomi Bhasin, known simply by her given name among those who collect her culturally and historically diverse jewellery, has been busy of late. The New York-based designer is currently in her native India visiting family, enjoying the culinary pleasures and acquiring inspiration for future designs.
She is working on two collections for the biennial celebration of the Whitney Museum in New York and for the June Couture Jewelry Show in Las Vegas. She will also make personal appearances at department stores in Boston and Naples, Florida. If that's not enough, she is also planning her youngest son's wedding in Bali.
"I chose Bali because there is an amazing spirituality to it and somehow everything just falls into place there without much of an effort," she explains. "It took a couple of trips to organise it, and I am spending a lot of time praying to all the Gods in Bali to ensure a fabulous wedding."
Spirituality is as much a part of Coomi's jewellery creations as is archaeology and anthropology. She uses 20ct gold with rose-cut diamonds and coloured gems and minerals - rare and otherwise - and she sometimes includes ancient artefacts and coins.
Her pieces often have a rough texture and antiquated look to them - as if the precious metals and gems were exhumed as completed pieces. The feel of her jewellery also reflects her previous career as a textile designer, as well as architect and landscape designer.
"My approach to design is very simple," she says. "I don't need a specific time or place to design but always carry a sketch book with me at all times. Everything has a beauty to it. People and their gestures, architecture, textiles, nature and all our surroundings are an inspiration to me. Sometimes, to rest my mind, I have to close my eyes for an hour or I would go crazy. It's like the universe screams at me constantly with designs."
For example, her contemporary mosaic collection for the Whitney Museum was the result of a recent trip to the Taj Mahal. "The dome was glowing during sunset and was the most beautiful sight."