Can you really make jewellery out of paper?

Of course you can!

You probably knew I was going to say that.   More than likely you may have even made some in your life time – rolled paper beads or who can forget paper chains!

One of our projects in our Jewellery Design class was to explore, design and make a jewellery item based on material.  This was our chance to explore something other than metal, which of course is what the main focus of goldsmithing is.  But as you know, fabulous jewellery is not only made of metal!

The material I chose to explore from research to finished piece was paper.  Aside from liking paper (when I’m not making jewellery I like to make collages and altered books… but that is another post), it was a chance to add COLOUR!!  Did I mention colour…  I love it!

First I had to research the qualities of paper and find any limitations, then I moved on to some initial sketches and models.  Once I had a firmer idea of what would work, and look good, I did more sketching and model making….

A peek at the research, initial sketches and models

As I went along in the process, I knew I wanted to use some Japanese paper.  This may have been an excuse to go to the paper store….  I also knew I wanted to use red.  I love red.

Final sketches, development models, some lovely RED Japanese tissue, the final technical drawing of the earrings.

The earrings are backed in stiff Japanese paper and the layers are made from Japanese tissue paper.  The specific tissue I picked (and believe me there is alot of choice) is called “Silk Red” and is a washi paper.  Washi paper is hand made from densely packed, interwoven Japanese kozo fibers.  It is so beautiful, and apparently has a great deal of wet strength – although I didn’t want to test that on my earrings!  But, you know, it’s good to know this if you are caught in the rain!

So, here is the final product.  It makes me think of nature, flowers, roses, Spanish dancers and lightheartedness.  How do they make you feel?

The finished earrings!

Keep well,


PS:  I nearly forgot – I wanted to tell you about an amazing jewellery artist who works in paper.  Her pieces really make you think – mostly: how in the world did she come up with that!  Her name is Nel Linssen, she is a Danish artist

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