‘Over the last couple of years I’ve noticed myself focusing more and more on two jewellery concepts: the first being animal earrings made from found objects, in “Lost & Found”, and the second being upcycling vintage plastic to create timeless, modern jewels, in “Plastic Fantastic”,’ says Tessa Packard, who has built on this playful history with colourful additions to these lines.
‘Both these collections explore the subject of sustainable jewellery in different ways, which as a theme is something I have been giving a lot of thought to recently. I love what I do, but I also appreciate that I work in a luxury industry, which by its own definition is not really a necessity, so how can I go about reconciling the two? I think this question has strongly influenced my overall creative process and has seen me shift towards producing jewellery with a more upcycled heart.’
Tessa Packard jewellery: embracing upcycling
Whimsical touches and bold strokes of colour characterise the new pieces, which rethink familiar motifs in 18ct gold, precious gemstones, upcycled lucite and porcelain. ‘I’m much more concerned with design integrity (using materials that correctly reflect the story and inspiration behind a theme) than carat weight or material value in order to justify my place at the jewellery table,’ Packard says. ‘Plus, I like the opportunity that jewellery-making offers as a medium. Very few other disciplines allow for such experimentation in material and I really like to take advantage of this.’
Creating the pieces in a juxtaposition of textures was not without its challenges, with Packard conducting countless experiments to discover the limits of the more unknown materials. ‘One of the more out-there ideas we had was to use liquid resin to set gemstones in vintage plastic, therefore negating the need for traditional metal collets in the body of the “Boca Bonita” and “Key West” earrings. It took quite a few iterations to work out which gemstones could be successfully mixed with resin and how best to do this so that the stones appeared to “float” in the resin, as opposed to settle only at the bottom of the mould.’
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Hannah Silver is the Art, Culture, Watches & Jewellery Editor of Wallpaper*. Since joining in 2019, she has overseen offbeat design trends and in-depth profiles, and written extensively across the worlds of culture and luxury. She enjoys meeting artists and designers, viewing exhibitions and conducting interviews on her frequent travels.
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