Reference Research

Metal zipper ring /blue/golden/big by Hurricane Boutique on Etsy

I had seen zipper jewelry before where they are sewn together in elaborate forms. I came across this zipper ring on Hurricane Boutique’s Etsy page. I thought it was interesting how the zipper teeth are connected and tied together with thread, unlike what I have more commonly seen.

Having collected a handful of colorful zippers from Trash for Teaching, I wondered how I could utilize them in my project. Through my research, I thought about precious metals and uniques methods of acquiring such metals

Jewelry designer Emma McFarline made several pieces incorporating corrugated cardboard rings, fragments of tags, and enamel pieces.

Cardboard is such a versatile and strong material, often used in sustainable product construction. I have seen it work really well in things like furniture, but was not sure how it could possibly come across as jewelry.

While you can still see the ruggedness and ‘cheap’ qualities of the cardboard, its placement alongside more valuable materials help to take it out of the context of the qualities of cardboard. In one piece, she mimics the corrugated lines in white gold. Overall, I think it makes for a more desirable and valuable product.

Trace / Reuse / Transform / Design - jewellery made of recycled materials by Christiane Diehl

German designer Christiane Diehl designed a series of jewelry collections under the collective title Trace/ Reuse/ Transform/ Design. Her jewelry is made out of rubber bands, inner tubes (bicycle tire), air mattresses, and industrial production remains (i.e. leather…).

It reminds me how of simply the repetition of forms can generate interesting visual qualities.

I could not find an artist statement as to what she is trying to achieve with her jewelry, but I would say that the collective series title, Trace/ Reuse/ Transform/ Design, informs her design process and philosophy.

This gallery contains 4 photos.

Mana Bernardes is a Brazilian designer whose work formalizes around “reduce, reuse, rejewel.” Although the materials she uses are rather banal within the world of sustainable fashion, her pieces reflect a surprising sophistication with the raw materials she employs: PET bottles, toothpicks… etc. Even though Berandes incorporates the uses pricier, luxury materials unsustainably sources, the characteristics …

Read More

This 500 Bracelets book by Marthe Le Van features some of the most interesting bracelet designs. Some of the designs present unconventional and sustainable approaches to jewelry design.

I came across this book during a trip to Aardvarks. I wasn’t able to take pictures or scan some of the more relevant and interesting designs, but you can access parts of the book through Google Books, from which I sourced the images below.



Le Van, Marthe, et. al. 500 Bracelets: An Inspiring Collection of Extraordinary Designs. New York: Lark Books, 2005. Print.