Precious Jewellery from Plastics
making plastic jewellery precious
Beauty, creativity, uniqueness and quality are all features that do not relate to the material from which an item is made – if plastic jewellery incorporates these features, it will have a value in its own right.
However, there may still be some resistance to the fact that it has no intrinsic value. Some people may resist paying the price for designer jewellery if it is ‘just plastic’. One solution to this resistance is to combine the plastics with traditional jewellery materials, such as silver and semi-precious stones. The cost of these is not prohibitive, but the work will be attributed a higher value because of the association with these traditional materials. In this way it is possible to enhance the appeal of the work to the widest possible audience, creating work that is innovative, high quality, unique and has some associated intrinsic value – beauty is down to the designer and the audience!
Reptile skins and metallic beetles
Inspired by the texture of reptile scales and metallic beetles with carapaces that resemble exotic metal, the piece uses the texture and colour as the basis for the design.
The design is a simplified form of the beetle shape, maintaining the basic form but losing the details that make it recognisable as an insect. The design was chosen to ensure that the final piece
is elegant, simple and wearable, rather than too flamboyant and dramatic, making it attractive to a wide audience while still being unusual and unique.
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Materials: pressure-laminated acrylic and silver
The fitting is constructed from 0.9 mm sterling silver sheet; silver wire and a simple pendant bail is used to attach the fitting to a chain.
The plastic used is two pieces of 5 mm clear extruded acrylic sheet. The two pieces are pressure-laminated together (see Pressure- laminating pages 82–84). The material between the two layers is fine metallic foil, cotton threads and iridescent film from Christmas decorations.