PaperBling

Maria Gil Ulldemolin's paper jewelry

I like looking at magazines: the textures of the papers, their glossiness, the colors, and the patterns of all those catwalk dresses. Forget about the text: not very many “visual” magazines have articles that are terribly  interesting (except for HAND/EYE, of course).  Advice on time management from a pretty actress surely does not concern you that much. On the other hand, the very specific green of the cardigan she's wearing...that seems very engaging.
 
I started making paper jewelry as a result of a project for my product design degree. I had to design a pattern, and I had been playing with different materials, cutting them and placing them in a repetitive order. Those little experiments looked so pretty to me, with their chaos of hues and thicknesses and finishes and textures that I just thought 'Let's try a bit more of this'. The most imminent and eligible source of materials at that moment was the pile of magazines that I had lying about. Browsing the pages looking for specific colors was such a joy! And then trying to classify them into color labels such as “pink” was so hard and stimulating. I loved seeing how some “not so nice things” pictured on paper (like images of meat butchered and ready to cooking) could become a very interesting cut-out.
 
That project that got me cutting was about figuring out what craft would look like in the 21st century. And Paperbling might just tap into something there. Recycling is a fabulous system to try and lessen our impact on the world, but we need to upcycle first. I am by no means the first one to say so. Look anywhere and you'll see old teapots turned into lampshades, furry sweaters casing laptops and vintage oil tins full of flowers. But the pleasure of taking fashion magazines and reusing them, that was glorious. You see, these magazines show you what's out there for one of two reasons: buying them or fantasizing about them. So you go buy these publications to be told what to buy or who buys what and you are also suggested to do so regularly to keep up into this whole consuming process. 
 
Don't get me wrong: I know that because I bought the magazines in the first place, I have a place in “the system.”  They are appealing. Their smell, their weight, their outrageous design. A girl (or a boy) has the right to dream. But also felt I needed to be aware of what I was buying into.
 
By taking a two-dimensional image of a terrific orange satin skirt and turning it into a three-dimensional element of a necklace, I felt like I had it my way. It was like saying “I'll consume you oh-so-devilishly-sexy magazine, but once I've eaten you up with my cool-hunting eyes, I'll throw you up, and you will be something else. Ha!”
 
Consuming turned into producing. And I'm a great defender of mass consumerism as a source of inspiration. Their fashion was now my fashion. I took what they suggested and turned it around into a convenient shape for me. But I'll never, ever cut my H/Es. They are for keeping.
 
For more about Maria Gil Ulldemolins, see www.mariagilulldemolins.com.
 

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