During my time at the university, I was exposed to a wide variety of materials, methods, and techniques in jewellery craftsmanship. However, I was particularly inspired by projects that aimed to encourage sustainability and material conscious choices in design and development. As I delved deeper into climate change issues, I become much more aware of the short and long-term consequences of using toxic materials.
Therefore, it seemed natural to make this the starting point for my graduation project. By restricting the project to sustainable and eco-friendly materials, I had to explore alternative solutions, develop new materials, and revive disregarded materials through recycling. Every conscious choice can potentially create a conversation on sustainable values and hopefully inspire others to follow. The process evolved me on an ethical and artistic level, my inspiration flourished within the sustainable realm. I feel that it is a never-ending problem-solving game, but it is also virgin territory – with no predefined rules to follow.
An onion is constructed from a range of layers to make a whole. The skin acting as a shield - which prevents the onion’s ‘flesh’ from being oxidised. The outer layer protects and hides the inner one from being exposed and becoming rotten. Inspired by the onion’s natural architecture, this project tells a story about layers of hidden truths.
The discarded onion skins dissipate into a translucent material that is both biodegradable, durable and lightweight. Seen at first as a benign and forgotten resource, I hope within my practice and throughout this process of discovery to question pre-existing concepts of luxury.
My art begins with defamiliarization of the material, hiding its identity. I cut, manipulate, and veneer the skins creating new patterns from the different species; layer upon layer encased together I create a new whole. My references stem from classical jewellery styles, commercially defined patterns and materials in an exaggerated fashion. Using the veneer of the skins, whilst reconstituting their own natural colour and qualities, the process amorphously centres around transformation. A food industry waste product, transformed into alluring jewellery.
My collection contains 9 pieces gradually each aims to represent the layers all the way to the core, slowly revealing a central truth: “At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how much effort I put. The onion stays an onion and will never be a gem. But, isn’t that just a matter of perception, after all what’s so bad about being an onion?”
Materials used: Onion skins waste, PVA eco glue, natural Osmo oil-wax based finish, recycled 9k gold and eco silver.