Monday, September 15, 2008

Of Pipefittings and Prettiness

In an age of hemp and compost, it’s intriguing to find anyone, let alone a jewelry sculptor, whose material of choice is a thermoplastic polymer. But then, it’s all in how you look at it: What greener use of PVC can there be than to wear it? One glance at the Harvest Cuff, its mesmerizing faux-glass surface gathering light in intricate grooves, illuminating a pattern of overlapping seashell or chandelier, and it also quickly becomes evident that Kath Inglis of Wear No Evil is celebrating pure ingenuity with every hand-carved inch of her elegant bangles. This, I suspect, is where the future of jewelry lies, in products that capture the aesthetic of a traditional material yet inject a new element (in this case, elasticity) via technology that just wasn’t available in the old days of Bombay bungri. Bravo to Kath for a gutsy reinterpretation of an accessory worn by at least half a billion women worldwide, and pity anyone who fails to appreciate the sweet irony of salvaging something genuinely beautiful from the forge of chemical madness.

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