Pride of Paper: Not Just Another Collection of Paper Jewelry
Photos: Paula Alvarado.
I used to think I couldn't bare to see another collection of paper jewelry, but, as usual, everything can be refreshing when it's original and well done. These pieces were designed by American artist Kiff Slemmons along with the Mexican organization Arte Papel Oaxaca, which seeks to revive the pre-Columbian tradition of making paper from indigenous natural fibers. More inside.Slemmons began an artist residence at the Arte Papel Oaxaca workshop in 2000, and since then has developed different techniques and designs with the local workers. Her initial inspiration was African jewelry from plastic discs, but then various methods such as folding, cutting, hollow punching, rolling and forming paper pulp were introduced.
All the pieces are made from artisan paper produced with native plants such as majahua, chichicatzli and pochote, while the dyes come also from natural sources such as indigo (the photos here show the pieces before the dye process). This, of course, makes the pieces biodegradable (except for probably the plastic threads to bond them together).
The pieces are part of the exhibition Pride of Paper, which is taking place until July 3rd at the Chicago Cultural Center, with free admission.
At the show, you can see many more pieces, as long as finished dyed items, photos of the artist working at the site and drawings of the design process.