Body parts jewellery is a thing! As ghoulish it may sound, it has presented a possibility how jewellery designing can push its boundaries to blend body art with wearable design. Bringing these whimsical pieces to life was Berlin-based jewellery and nail artist Nadja Buttendorf – EARring, FINGERring and skin necklaces.
Body parts jewellery may seem like whimsical accessories but these are thoughtful concepts which were devised as a way to showcase how extra pair of an organ. For example – What would happen if we had four ears? Would we listen differently?
Buttendorf is a member of an organization that goes by the name Cyborgs eV, which is interested in understanding the notions of the fusion of humans and machines. The organization was founded by someone who needed an acoustic nerve implant to hear. According to her, the dependency of humans on machines and technology advocates that we are, becoming cyborgs. Our body is the sensor to the world. The FINGERring and EARring jewellery created by Buttendorf is viewed as a tool to set the human body free of a normal body.
Buttendorf debuted the EARring at Cyborgs Are Among Us, in Düsseldorf, Germany – the world’s first cyborg fair. She goes onto explain that technology shapes the perception of the environment inorder to understand the human body.
Despite the idea being stemmed from the use of machines, Buttendorf did not use any machines to make body parts jewellery. She used silicone (precisely a silicone known as dragon skin) to create FINGERring, EARring and skin necklaces, as it is the closest to human skin. Also, her work is devoid of 3D printing.
Each of the products were handmade with a lot of care to mimic the texture and qualities of skin to make it look hyper-realistic.
For the ‘FINGERring’, Buttendorf replicated the human ring finger that can be worn as a ‘6th finger’ that looks like it is extended from the body. Similarly, the ‘EARring’ though shaped like the human ear can be worn as an actual earring. This makes it look like the wearer has a duplicate ear hanging from their lobe. The skin necklaces were made in different shades of skin to form a thick chain.
Body parts jewellery is a way to pose questions about the, “What If’s? of possessing an extra pair of body part. Jewellery in the traditional sense is about using the conventional gems, metals and precious stones, however Buttendorf has tried to break away from this stereotypical view by creating pieces that will make people take a second look. Jewellery designing does not have to be limited to just creating beautiful and elegant pieces. It can be used as a medium to raise questions and start conversations just like the way the artist here. Learn all about the intricacies of jewellery designing through the 3-year BSc. in Jewellery Design course offered at one of the best jewellery designing institutes in Cochin