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The innovators: Mia Larsson

Posted in Style
by Hanna Karlsson on 16 February, 2015

The Swedish jewelry designer loves eccentric materials – like recycled fish skin.

Mia Larsson, a Swedish jewelry designer working with eccentric materials like mussel and oyster shells, is creating new innovative jewelry where sustainability is one of her main focuses. The famous singer Robyn wore one of Mia’s necklaces at this years Music Hall of Fame. Make it last were curious to get to know Mia and her work a bit better and therefore we asked her some questions.

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Mia Larsson press clippings, from Rodeo Magazine and Bon Magazine

What materials do you use when creating jewelry?
– I work with organic and recycled materials that are decomposable; I have worked a lot with mussel and oyster shells from restaurants during the past years. When working with shells I’ve tried different ways of experimenting and manipulating them and to mix them with other materials such as sand and organic plastics. Another material that I am exploring is recycled fish skin. I took a course last summer in the archipelago learning old, sustainable techniques in how to tan the skin. I’m also interested in exploring other organic materials that are either leftovers like cork, bones and food for coloring. I combine all of the above with recycled silver in my jewelry.

How did you come up with the idea to use these materials?
– Jewelry holds a lot of symbolic meanings; they are statements and they serve protection. They can connect us to places, be subcultural or show our political stand points and spirituality. Also it links people in love, friendships and through generations. These aspects became important to my work and me. Many materials connected to jewelry are problematic. Metal and stone can’t grow back in to the earth and there’s often a bad environment for the people working with it. I wanted to find organic materials that were a part of a positive cycle – recycled and decomposable. I thought of shells, a natural artwork, which after eaten are thrown away by restaurants and people. I managed to get sacks of shells from different seafood restaurants. Taking care of this ”garbage” was a bit of a challenge. Another aspect of the shells that I like is that they can be used to clean water in sewage plants.

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How do you work with sustainability in particular? 
– My sustainability work is embedded within the materials I choose to work with. As an artist or a designer, the materials you use becomes an important agent for what you wish to express. It is an interesting, fun and challenging way to work with sustainability.

Where do you find inspiration?
– Mostly my inspiration is found in the process of experimenting and challenging the materials, and also in trying to find new ones to work with. I also find inspiration in art and architecture and the way materials and constructions are used there. I’m a sucker for artists like Fontana from the Italian art movement Arte Povera, where simple materials are used in new unexpected and often brutal ways. The way minimalistic art uses spaces as the setting for their art is also a great inspiration – jewelry can use the body as a space for expressing.

Which jewelry trend do you think will be the biggest this spring?
– Trends are always a bit problematic but I hope and notice that people will use jewelry in more bold and personal ways. Since the 70s is big again it would be cool if we would let that era inspire us with its bold way of using big jewelry and mixed styles.

What’s your eco fashion/jewelry prediction for 2015? 
– I look forward to more discussions and examples on how the use of sustainable materials in jewelry and clothing can be creative and interesting. I also hope that people will discover more fantastic jewelry makers who are out there working in more sustainable and personal ways. My dream prediction is that the whole design, fashion and art business could slow down and that people will consume fewer unique pieces.

Visit Mia Larsson’s website here.

Words by Hanna Karlsson


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