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Behind The ScenesJewelleryProject Wabi Sabi

Paper Earrings

By March 30, 2018May 22nd, 2018No Comments
Month one outcome -

Paper Earrings:

As most of you will know by now, March was a month where I became obsessed with paper (it’s not the first time you’ll understand!) Which ultimately led to some rather cute paper earrings being made.

Month one was a celebration of paper because this is the material that marks the first wedding anniversary.  So each month for the rest of the year, I will be selecting the next material in line. Each marks the next sentimental anniversary gift.

Paper Earrings Pastel Paper

My plan this year is to mark months 1-10 in celebration of my ten years in business.

During March I recommended some brilliant makers who create in paper, see more here. I interviewed talented paper engineer Sarah Louise Matthews, see more here. Finally I made some NEW paper earrings and this is what I wanted to talk about further in this blog post.

Project Wabi Sabi

What is Wabi Sabi?
So I’ve finally named the 10 month jewellery making project … I’m calling it #ProjectWabiSabi. Why, you ask? Well this is a Japanese phrase based on a view of acceptance of imperfection.
Paper Earrings Wabi Sabi

For Wabi Sabi Simple book author Richard Powell “Wabi-sabi nurtures all that is authentic by acknowledging three simple realities: nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.”

For me, this notion perfectly summarises a healthy acceptance. This I feel is always hard to settle for as a designer who is driven to strive for more. My hope is that by focussing and embracing the imperfect, creativity might just happen more freely and outcomes might actually see the light of day!

Designing in paper

A project left behind…

It’s actually crazy … I begun designing a new range of paper jewellery about two years ago. It seems I got to a certain point and I stopped. Perhaps I got too busy to see it through, that or too scared to show the world.

Therefore, I am determined that my #ProjectWabiSabi should help me bring to life some of the many projects I have started. It should allow me commitment in time to getting things made into tangible wearables, not just half designed thoughts on paper or half made test pieces in boxes.

Paper Earrings In progress

Work in progress…

The initial piece I begun developing was a necklace inspired originally by Art Deco and it’s wonderful geometric shapes. From here I focused mainly on the metal shapes themselves and how to give my paper earrings the longevity and practical wearability, I’m so often asked about.

Making paper wearable, poses many issues. It’s inflexible and unforgiving, so in many ways it does not lend itself to being worn. In my new pieces I wanted to use brass alongside the paper to give it strength but also familiarity and therefore accessibility to wearers.

I had the idea of creating ‘jewels’ from the paper by building up the layers. This was decided way back two years ago when I began the research the idea. It took many, many paper earrings versions before I was indeed happy with the visual and practical qualities working in harmony.

Paper outcome

Problem Solving…
The paper earrings outcome was actually originally going to be a paper necklace. I was so close to resolving the necklace but in the time frame it just was not quite there. So my secondary piece, the paper earrings came to centre stage.
Rather than forcing the issue and pursuing the creativity and problem solving under stress. And so, I embraced the concept of Wabi Sabi and resolved the paper earrings without guilt.
Paper Earrings handmade
Paper Earrings Saloukee

The outcome…

A simple pair of paper earrings with brushed brass plates and silver posts. I’ve chosen a lovely metallic paper, which gives a beautiful twinkle on movement. The brass has been buffed by hand to give it a tactile matt texture and the 925 silver back and posts, means no issues with allergies.

They are approximately 20mm wide and 18mm high and though there are many staggered layers to make up the paper earrings. They’re wonderfully light for the lobes, due to the material itself.

As ever there’s been lessons learnt, but I’m so pleased that month 1 of 10 has been accomplished and I have these pretties to show for it! Let me know what you think!

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