While random pieces of metal, bottle caps, nuts and bolts might not be obvious choices for jewelry, they prove to be striking and dramatic when paired with delicate chains and gleaming jewels in UK designer Alessandra Rigillo’s jewelry line, ‘Every Cloud Has a Silver Lining’.
I caught up with Alessandra to talk about her inspiration for transforming such rough, gritty materials into savagely beautiful necklaces, bracelets and earrings that are more than just a little bit rock n’ roll.
SR: Your jewelry is packed with items that are rarely associated with ornamentation: metal scraps, nuts & bolts, electrical wiring, bottle caps. What first inspired you to work with these sorts of materials?
AR: I kept my first bottle top, the one with a bee, because I thought it was too cute to throw away. Around the same time I found old drawings of mine from years ago when I started the Gerrit Rietveld Art Academy in Amsterdam. At that time I wanted to do Jewellery Design but, the school, friends etc…etc…took me on a different path. Here in London, where I moved from Rome in 2002, I discovered the work of Fashion Designers like Traid Re-Made and Junky Styling, that have been producing very interesting garments with recycled material for years. I was fascinated!
I like the challenge of transforming “junk” into beautiful jewellery. My collections aims to inspire people to consume less and to find the “silver lining” in every little thing.
SR: The ‘Nimbus’ line is so sweet and colorful – are those Barbie shoes I spy?!
AR: Yes! They are. I can’t remember exactly why I bought a packet of vintage Barbie shoes on Ebay. The 80’s were the times when you could buy just shoes without the whole outfit. Great! The same shoes in ALL different colours!!!! Things like this make us all want to be Barbie. Decision decision decision..let’s get all of them!!! Girls love Barbie and shoes. The perfect match: a Barbie shoe. The symbol of the little girl inside each of us that still wants to play and have fun.
SR: It’s definitely an unexpected juxtaposition of delicate gold and silver chains, sparkly jewels and objects that are generally considered to be ‘junk’. What other reclaimed objects might we see from you in the future?
AR: At the moment I’m working with used Italian playing cards, jumbo size puzzle pieces, scrap leather, metal mechanical pieces from old sewing machines, vintage chess players….etc…etc… I just wish I had more time!!!