Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Necklace with Recycled Paper and Steel Wire
Situated along the coast of Lake Oulujärvi is the Finnish town Kajaani

Renowned for being the birthplace of writer Elias Lönrot, Kajaani is also known for its “old wooden houses”, and “the ruins of the Kajaani Castle.” 

Finland is also home to featured jewelry designer Janna Syvänoja.

What do you think?  Is the value of a jewelry item based in the materials used to create the jewelry or is it based in the art of jewelry making? 

Fifty-four-year-old Syvänoja’s stunning paper and steel wire jewelry items would definitely incline an observer to lean towards the art response. 

Her sinuous designs of recycled paper from discarded dictionaries, catalogues and maps are a breathtaking reminder that in the right hands the ordinary can become extraordinary.  The mostly monochromatic jewelry pieces are abstract in form resembling plumage, seashells, and in one case a snail.

A graduate of Helsinki’s University of Industrial Arts, and former interior designer, Syvänoja was intrigued by the parallel between the materials she forages and verbal communication.
Brooch Pin with Steel Wire and Recycled Paper
“When I started making my jewelry Finland was experiencing recycling awareness.  It became an important social issue.  I started using newspapers and telephone directories,” she explains. 

“Printed paper contains information; the use of the paper associates with communication between people—message and expression.  A piece of jewelry is worn for the same purpose.

The transformation of paper into jewelry is a very slow process.  I use a technique that involves working with single sheets of paper carefully curved around steel wire in a sequence of repeated motions that slowly make the piece grow. 

When the formed components start to follow each other and find their rhythm in my hands, the miracle happens.”
Necklace with Recycled Paper and Steel Wire

The award-winning designer’s incredible work has been featured at both solo and group exhibitions around the world including France, Germany, Japan, Italy and Sweden.
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