This piece is inspired by a work by Sarah Brown, artist and bookbinder, titled “84 hours.” In tribute to an 18th century bookbinder, imprisoned after having pushed to have his working week reduced from 84 to 83 hours, she worked on binding a book made of newspaper, for 14 hours a day, 6 days in a row.
The result is stunning and so invitingly tactile, that an idea for jewellery immediately emerged. So, on another scale and along different lines, I spent around twenty hours to produce a piece of jewellery which differs from this installation in three ways.
Firstly, the paper used has been ripped to avoid any danger of cutting skin. Thus, the object has an irregular but coherent form, pleasant to look at and touch, and which reminds us of the admirable imperfections of the human body. Its flexibility allows it to wrap around the body as a necklace, scarf or bracelet, according to the owner’s imagination.
Next, the choice of a thick paper composed partially of cotton, acid free and meant for watercolours, makes this jewellery resistant to humidity and tears, for high durability. As this jewellery is obviously designed to be worn extensively and repeatedly, it will inevitably be marked by time, the wearer or by external factors.
So, because of this, the initial whiteness of the paper is deliberate, as it serves as an invitation to leave marks there, deliberate or not: a coffee spill, a cigarette burn, a lipstick smudge, notes in ink or pencil, a dried flower between the books, a page torn out to leave a note for a loved one… A life story can be written in this never-ending book.
I’m an open book… are you?
Watercolour paper, linen thread