Monday, February 22, 2010


Once in a state of disrepair, Sweden's Linnaeus Garden is presently a thriving location for more than 1,300 species of lush flora. Sweden is also home to featured jewelry designer Sara Borgegard.

Taking keen notice of environmental structures not related to nature like water towers, traffic signals, or garbage bins is not something I normally do unless the structure is very unusual, and for the most part, they are not.

Perhaps my lack of interest is due to their cold purpose of mechanical function leaving them void of any aesthetic appeal. Luckily, not everyone sees an impersonal heap of wire and metal when observing these kinds of objects.

Borgegard, a graduate of Stockholm's Konstfack, University College of Arts, Craft and Design, finds the parallel world of manmade structures just as fascinating as the natural world.

"I use materials--such as wood and iron--that might be thought of as useless in the world of traditional jewelry. My main source of inspiration is painted metal, machinery, and houses," says the designer.

Her design concept is an obvious one, construction, the singular component of manmade objects, jewelry and otherwise. She arranges materials in a way that is reminiscent of the arts and crafts objects I made in elementary school with multi-colored construction paper.

In fact, despite the substantial quality of the materials implemented, the items appear to be lightweight with tassels of silk thread spilling from their tops. Even the color of the paints she uses--gold, pink and light blue--makes me think of creations made in elementary school.  It is a daring aesthetic devoted to stretching the imagination, and allowing the sometimes-frigid urban environment to dictate inspiration and form.

"Both wood and iron are found in the history of jewelry, but what I use is scrap wood and industrial sheet metal," she says. "I use a colored surface on my materials because I am fascinated by paint used as protection and a decorative layer.

Jewelry is made up either by construction or through a decision to designate an object as jewelry. Almost everything in the urban environment is constructed, arranged. These are things that I take for granted but they have become natural to me as if they have always been there."
Photo 1 (top right): Metal, Gold Paint, and Cord Necklace
Photo 2 (bottom left): Metal, Pink Paint, and Cord Necklace
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