Poppy Dandiya is a studio jeweler born in 1955 at Jaipur, India. His formal education at St Stephens College, Delhi, was designed to pave his way into the Indian bureaucracy, but he opted for backpacking instead. To pay for his travels he bought pieces of old silver jewellery from pawn shops during his biking trips around the Rajasthani desert, and sold these to friends, and later boutiques in Europe. Little did he know then that he was setting up the foundations of his new career.

By 1980, Poppy found himself in London, learning jewellery-making and gemmology at Sir John Cass, honing the jewellery instincts he had inherited from his jeweler grandfather. After two years of fun and learning, and selling Indian antiquesand brick-a-brack at weekend markets, Poppy returned to his homeland to relive the colours of Rajasthan. Here he began experimenting with the untapped wealth of the traditional jewellery-making techniques, and created cross cultural pieces amalgamating the techniques of the East and the West. His early pieces were noticed by the HHEC, the Indian equivalent of the Craft Council of UK. He became their design consultant for their 1985 Festival of India, sponsored by the Indian Govt. and hosted at the Smithsonian Institute in Washington. Here his iconic necklace designs in silver and garnet became the Smithsonian Catalogues best sellers for 7 years to come. In 1987 Poppy set up India's first modern jewellery making school under the auspice of Chand Shilp Shala, a ladies polytechnic in Jaipur managed by his mother. He later won the first prize for his entry in the prestigious Indian Jewellery Design Competition, 1990-91, held at Bombay. Here he designed an 18 Carat gold ring with a princes cut diamond, crafted for him at Richard Holkar's Bombay workshop. Poppy and Richard again worked together to make a polo trophy, sponsored by The Standard Chartered bank, for presentation to Prince Charles in 1992.

Between 1996 and 2005 Poppy lived primarily in the UK, with a workshop first in Cambridge, then in Lewes, and and finally in Devon. Over the years he has displayed at the Chelsea Craft fair and at Art in Action, and worked with leading galleries including Electrum at South Molton St., and Primavera in Cambridge.

Poppy uses natural gemstones of all colours, which he has sometimes cut and shaped himself, and in diamonds, which he has had specially cut for his use. His choice here is unconventional, and he often chooses to highlight the 'defects' in the natural stone, rather than hide them, as an aspect of beauty. He sets these in precious metals, often two toned. The form is relaxed and free. His jewellery, while still modern, sometimes has an archaeological look; he is particularly inspired by Bactrian Greek from Northwest India.

In 2005, Poppy returned to India to pursue his spiritual quest while still making jewellery here. His business activity in the UK has been managed since by Emily Cochran, sister of Abi Cochran (www.silverspirals.co.uk), a good friend and Cambridge jeweller. Meanwhile he has also begun to sell out of a boutique hotel owned by his old friend, and jewellery guru, Richard Holkar (http://www.ahilyafort.com). Having turned 60 in 2015, Poppy has virtually retired ('a jeweller never retires'), making ever fewer pieces. His time since has been dedicated to putting up a meditation retreat (www.vipassanaaranya.org) outside of his hometown of Jaipur, for renunciates who practice Vipassana meditation (www.dhamma.org). He is now in the process of handing over the reigns of this retreat centre to colleagues, and looks forward to a quiet life of meditation at Dhammagiri, Igatpuri.