Paper Jewelry Collaboration

Aimee Ferro

Posted on February 28 2019

Paper Jewelry Collaboration














Before we launch the new Flora Collection I wanted to share more about my collaboration jewelry line with artist Lauren Iida.


How about I start from the beginning? Lauren and I met WAY back in 2006. It was our Sophomore year at Cornish College of the Arts when our friendship bloomed in printmaking class. She was the cool girl with dreadlocks (sorry Lauren!) and I was the transplant from Arizona who had an obsession with how colorful Fall was in Seattle. We've been good friends ever since.

Since graduating school, Lauren has accomplished MANY amazing things.  She eventually found her way to Cambodia where she fell in love with the people and culture. She now shares her time between Seattle and Cambodia where she leads art tours and works in her studio. In addition, Lauren is also the founder of a wonderful non-profit called The Antipodes Collective which creates high quality learning materials for Cambodian children through worldwide artistic collaboration. Most recently she founded Open Studio Kampot  which works with emerging Khmer artists in southern Cambodia. She is a jack of all trades and most importantly wants to help others through art. Below is one of her pieces called "Memory Net."  



Together, Lauren and I design and create a fun paper jewelry line.  What exactly is this you might be asking? Well, it all starts with Lauren and I designing each piece. Next Lauren hand cuts the paper design. Once she's cut out the design -- she sends them my way. I prep the pieces and grow a very thick coating of copper over the paper. Encasing it and preserving it inside forever. To coat the paper in copper, I use a technique called electro-forming. Using chemistry, an acid bath, and a couple of other tricks -- I can grow copper on many different objects... including paper! Below you can see a BEFORE/AFTER picture of the Crystal Cluster design. The top one is coated in copper and the one below is still paper.




So how did this collaboration actually start? One day Lauren asked me if she thought I could coat her paper cutaways in copper to make jewelry. I had never done that before and it sounded like a fun challenge! We decided to try it out to see if it might work. After some test pieces I found my stride and we then began to seriously design collections. The idea of encasing and preserving a piece of artwork forever is special to us. So special that we decided to only create one-of-a-kind and limited editions. We value uniqueness and we wanted each design to have meaning. 

It has been an amazing experience being able to collaborate with one of my favorite people in the world. She is beyond talented. To create something beautiful from two different minds and with two different methods is inspiring! This particular collaboration has been very special to me and has opened my eyes to what I am capable of achieving. 

A while back we got together and designed our latest collection - The Flora Collection. All the designs are just about finished, and we are planning on releasing it in March. Each piece has been hand drawn by both of us - cut by Lauren - and coated in copper by yours truly.



 To see more of our past designs and a behind the scenes video

click the link below! 

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