At a Mumbai Jewelry Design Studio, Intellect Meets Art

NAME Rahul and Roshni Jhaveri, the husband-and-wife owners of Studio Renn.

HOMETOWNS Mr. Jhaveri, 36, is from Mumbai; Ms. Jhaveri, 37, grew up in Nagpur, a city of about 2.9 million in the central state of Maharashtra.

THEY NOW LIVE In the Malabar Hill neighborhood of South Mumbai. Their studio is about 20 miles north, in Borivali, near Sanjay Gandhi National Park — and while the commute takes about 1.5 hours each way, they say practical considerations, such as having an affordable space for their 25-person team, make it worthwhile. (“It is on that drive that we experience the city changing the most,” Mr. Jhaveri said during a video call in late April. “Seeing it in flux is a constant source of inspiration.”)

BACKGROUND The two met in 2002, on the first day of international student orientation at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pa. “We were best friends, started dating senior year and, two years after graduating, we got married,” she said.

They returned to Mumbai, where Ms. Jhaveri pursued a career in strategy consulting and Mr. Jhaveri apprenticed at his family’s diamond manufacturing business, eventually becoming a partner. In 2018, they founded Studio Renn (the name is derived from the Latin for “rebirth”), where he heads design and manufacturing and she oversees sales and marketing. “It’s pretty much the same as at university,” Mr. Jhaveri said. “The all-nighters where Roshni is putting in all the work and I’m kind of slacking off.”

JEWELRY EXPERIMENTS In 2019 the couple went on a trek around Lake Tansa a couple of hours outside Mumbai. “We stumbled across an object that was there, rotting away,” he said. “It was the act of us picking it up that gave birth to an idea: Things are absolutely worthless until you give them attention.”

Back at the studio, they scanned the object (Mr. Jhaveri said it was organic in nature, but wouldn’t be more specific, preferring to leave the piece open to interpretation) and printed a 3-D version, then cast it in 22-karat yellow gold and created a ring that retails for $16,000. Inside the perforated form are rubies that reveal themselves only when light strikes the ring. “It represents an energy hidden inside,” he said.

CURRENT PROJECT Studio Renn’s other projects have emerged from equally philosophical forays on subjects like permanence and atrophy, often prompted by client commissions or collaborations with artists the Jhaveris admire. Take (An)otherness, an evolving collection that now totals about 80 pieces and grew from a series of custom sketches by the contemporary artist Prashant Salvi. It includes pieces like the $20,000 Bleeding Tooth ring, which has Burmese ruby cabochons meant to look like drops of blood, and the $23,500 Gemstone Puffball earrings, which were designed “to appear as if they’re growing off your ear,” Mr. Jhaveri said.

The (An)otherness pieces do not share an aesthetic through line — rather, “they are unified by the creative process,” Ms. Jhaveri said, adding that concepts like reflection, negative space and volume continue to resurface in their work.

MATERIAL CULTURE Studio Renn uses rare and valuable materials — including gold, diamonds and Burmese rubies and sapphires that have not been heated to improve their color and clarity (“No-heat gems have a softness to them that feels a lot more natural,” Mr. Jhaveri said) — but the couple sees beauty in less overtly precious items, too. Their Found Objects series, for example, features antique coins, a meditation on the transience of value.

MAKING ART DURING A PANDEMIC The Jhaveris have spent the past year fulfilling commissions and working on a new collection that they weren’t ready to discuss. “Most creative work happens after a very tumultuous period,” Mr. Jhaveri said. “And I think that might be true in this case as well.”