HDPE/HOPE, Autumn 2019

Except the first brooch 'Identity,' the following are pieces from my HDPE series. They are made from Argentium silver, silk and recycled plastic from an old milk bottle. Some of the pieces use the pre-stamped logos of the milk bottle, such as ‘Recycle’ or ‘HDPE’ – which can also read like ‘HOPE’ – whilst others bear lettering such as ‘Plant Trees’.

The common theme in these pieces is my continued concern with the environmental crisis we are experiencing at present. It is an on-going project and further pieces will be added to this series.

Different ideas are explored in these pieces: one concerns the value that certain materials are endowed with and the consequent implications for their use; whilst the other is a more literal reflection on nature, especially trees. Both strands share a deep concern for nature and the wish to express that directly in my work.

Whilst a questioning of 'preciousness' is certainly not a novel approach in the field of jewellery, I wanted to query why, for example, some everyday items are labelled as ‘single-use’. These objects are to be discarded after they were used just once, they are not deemed worthy to be looked after or repaired when the materials they are composed of are actually long-lasting.

Plastic surrounds us, is in most things we buy and it very hard to avoid. It is made consuming precious resources, it hardly decays – yet we just throw it away…

I wanted question how beauty and concepts of preciousness are tied to materials: the contrast in our treatment of our equally important natural resources – some highly priced, others designed for single use and to be thrown away.