Message the Thing in Modern-Day Bling

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted May 9, 2009 5:54 PM CDT
A necklace using a found object.   (Flickr)

(Newser) – A new wave of jewelry designers is ditching pretty gemstones for cutting-edge commentary, the Economist reports. Using mainly found objects, plastic, recycled junk—and some precious metals in unexpected forms—jewelers are rejecting social-status-bling for designs that tell stories or question values. Dutch designers lead the pack because they “like to turn things upside down," one historian said.

The "Collect" fair for contemporary objects will open in London this month, featuring designs like:

  • Animal bones covered with "flesh-coloured flock," by Christoph Zellweger
  • Interior elements such as furniture, wall coverings, and flooring assembled into broaches and neckpieces, by Iris Eichenberg
  • Necklaces combining glass shards and gold, by Ulrich Reithofer
Professional collectors who revel humor and subversion often snap up such items, the Economist notes. Many are architects, and often male.