Photography: Nikolas Louka
As a designer I found myself now more than ever challenged to explore new ways to keep my practice alive and responsive. In states of lockdown and social distancing, I - like all of us - was forced to adapt to new realities within the confines of my home and away from my studio. In an attempt to reimagine how we might replace studio practice, I explore the process of creating biomaterials from the comfort of my home. For this project, a series of bioplastic jewellery is created, celebrating new voices and telling untold stories.
Soil is a body that retains information about its environmental history and does not require the presence of life to form. Therefore, Cypriot soil and corn based (PLA) bioplastics are mixed to create organic matter, with mould making and casting as main processes, representing the routes and sequences of one’s life journey and their connection with the environment. During lockdown in London, the amount of coffee I drink has increased as it is linked to all the necessary breaks, I need to take to rest my eyes from my devices. By collecting all the coffee waste to mix in my bio recipe I attempt to connect this project with my current reality. I used some prefabricated 3D printed moulds, which allowed the material to form in flat circular sheets in addition to 3D rings.
From an early date, jewels were worn as religious/ritualistic ornaments, to protect from evil spirits, or to reflect wealth and stature in intensely hierarchical and status-conscious societies. This project invites us to reimagine how we might replace precious materials, and recreate jewels, using a process that mimics natural metamorphism. As we treasure objects and jewellery for the way they recap our memories, these alternative materials aim to disrupt the status quo, empower us through materiality and allow our jewellery and the way they are created to represent us all.