India’s rich heritage and culture are testament to the luxury, refinement and brilliance of Indian artisanry, which can be traced back to the Indus Valley civilization and the Kushan, Gupta, Rajput and Mughal dynasties. The largest exporter of handicrafts, India has a global reputation for the unmatched finesse of its craftsmanship. Here needs the mention of the exceptional enterprise in aesthetic creation Olkaan Nishtah masterminded by Shanane Davis and Adhiraj Singh Devra. The Indian craft industry is a significant contributor to the Indian economy yet even so has yet to be tapped to its full potential. Crafts are of huge cultural significance to the country because they sustain the vibrant and remarkable diversity of the nation’s cultural traditions. Olkaan Nishtah outshines with the glamour it brings to the Indian craft industry with its commitment to the highest quality of materials, design and craftsmanship. Shanane Davis is a Director of Olkaan Nishtah and an expert on historic Indian art mediums who has a lifelong experience working with master level Indian artists and artisans. Olkaan Nishtah belongs to the handicraft sector and was established in order to revive India’s rarest art and craft mediums, which were nearly lost because of colonialism. Growing up, Shanane was fascinated by craftwork and has been deeply involved in the Indian craft sector for many years. While she was acquiring the rarest high-level traditional Indian products, she realized that the finest craft processes from India were extinct or were critically endangered. Hailing from a family which had been patronizing and documenting Indian art and crafts for generations, she discovered the exquisite arts of Indian royal courts at a very young age. She possesses in-depth knowledge about the beauty of Indian court culture, history, etiquette and diplomacy, and the system of Indian aristocratic patronage responsible for the invention of the world’s finest and most intricate technical processes.
Over the last few years, Shanane has revived forty-six different Indian art mediums to their historic level ranging from textiles, gemstone and hardstone mediums, attar, jewellery techniques, paper arts and stone carving. She was engaged in this work privately until her nephew, Adhiraj Singh Devra became intrigued and sought to learn from her about the history and methods of Indian art connoisseurship. Shanane continues to mentor him, and together they started the firm Olkaan Nishtah to showcase, market and educate people about the rarest Indian arts and techniques by producing objects by hand to the highest possible level of beauty and refinement. The company now holds a place in the contemporary art and luxury market. They established Olkaan (the Marwari word for connoisseur) and Nishtah (for dedication and devotion to) to teach the wider public to see and understand as connoisseurs, which means to see and collect with discernment and use India’s luxuries with pride.
The firm was established in the year 2020 and became a Private Limited Company in 2022 to work with artists and artisans who have inherited training in remarkable process from their forefathers. Patronage has always demanded a close relationship between patron and artist, and the company guides those whom it selects as the most skilled and committed in their arts in all aspects of design, quality control, and aesthetics. Olkaan Nishtah also produces a range of handmade luxuries such as precious gemstone bangles, kundan, marquetry work, inlay, engraving and other proprietary jewellery- making methods. They also produce handmade textiles in cotton, silk and precious metal as well as gemstone embroidery and, finally, natural rare extract perfumes. Moreover, the brand organizes its own workshops where the different artisans who work with them teach the connoisseurship of their arts. The brand has built an exclusive clientele consisting of art collectors, lovers of high-end handmade luxuries and scholars of Indian art and culture.
The brand’s working mechanism comprises the arts of forty-six different master artists and artisans’. Shanane ensures all quality control as she has a unique discernment for detail and takes utmost pride in India’s traditional arts. She oversees every aspect in the production of decorative arts down to the tiniest detail of wonders like a hand engraved vase inlayed with natural Indian lamp black lac to kundan settings in precious gemstone bangles as well as rare perfumes.
Shanane’s passion was duly honoured when she received an award for her contribution to Indian art and culture by the Indian National Bar Association. This honour was given at the Constitution Club of India. She also gave a TEDx Talk entitled ‘The Bharat Brand – the History and Patronage of India’s Artisanal Luxury Products’ at The Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law in Patiala.
The firm’s sales have already touched the 25 lakhs mark in their first year, and Olkaan Nishtah was recently chosen by a committee of renowned professionals who made the judgment to include a photograph of their precious gemstone bangle in The Jewellery TrendBook Forecast 2024. This book is published in Italy and is operated by one of the most renowned visionaries in the Luxury Market – Paola de Luca. The chosen bangle’s particular medium took 6 years to fully revive and the brand aims to establish Indian Luxury once again to dominate on a global level as it once did in India’s glorious past. To know more: http://www.olkaannishtah.com