‘Jewellery Matter Time - Hard Data, Soft Stories’ unveils contemporary stories about mined materials and how they contribute to jewellery as a practice. The movement of materials has a variety of ecological effects, many of which are concealed in the shadows behind shiny objects. If jewellery can tell stories, which stories could they tell about their origin in the age of the Anthropocene?
Our presentation during the research week gives an insight into the research process on sand.
Creating an environment on how we work, this installation is made up of different components: text, readings, material samples, experiments and objects.
Sand is a granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles consisting of loose grains between 2 and 0.0625 millimeters. It is a seemingly abundant resource which is mined worldwide and processed into structural materials such as concrete, glass and silicones which are used in microelectronics and as components in the food and pharmaceutical industries. After air and water, sand is the most utilized natural resource on earth. It is present in every structure, road, window, and screen we use daily. As abundant as it seems, it is predicted to become scarce due to overconsumption by industrial use. The ecological and economic consequences of overmining often result in illegal activities and local geographic conflicts.
As researchers in the artistic field, we chose to work with sand - for its apparent finitude and therefore preciousness - and develop processes and objects that zoom into these qualities.
What if sand is in fact an extremely valuable material?
How would a jeweller then work with it?
Why would their tools and choices be relevant?
Irma Földényi is a Rotterdam based designer, currently a researcher at Sint Lucas Antwerpen and guest teacher at Linking Bodies - Jewellery Department at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam.
Saskia Van der Gucht is a visual artist, teacher and researcher at Sint Lucas Antwerpen.
Image: Fieldwork for sand probes at Kattendijkdok-Oostkaai, september 2022 - Saskia Van der Gucht