Illustrated Guide to the Jewels of Plasticene

Publication, material research, concept jewellery
Finalist 'Awareness On Communication' : Rossana Orlandi Guiltless Plastic Prize
Showcased at Museo Scienza e Technologia Leonardo da Vinci, Milan
©2019

Plastiglomerate is a term that was proposed by Patricia Corcoran, Charles J. Moore and Kelly Jazvac for a stone that contains mixtures of sedimentary grains, and other natural debris that is held together by hardened molten plastic. It has been considered a potential marker of the Anthropocene, an informal epoch of the Quaternary proposed by some social scientists, environmentalists, and geologists.

 

The project began with the idea to put an underappreciated material on a pedestal, in an attempt to make it seem luxurious, and, thus, affect people's opinion on it. I chose plastic because it is a material the value of which has changed a number of times throughout history; the story of plastics is one that reflects the story of humankind itself. By looking at plastics from an archaeological point of view, I imagine a future where plastics are no longer produced and become a resource found underground, a relic of long gone days. Already today, the earliest items in this material, not being made anymore, are seen as luxury goods, while, at the same time, we carelessly bin plastic wrappings every day, only proving that scarcity is luxury. The project resulted in an encyclopedia that I call the Illustrated Guide to the Jewels of Plasticene, where I present plastics as gemstones dating back to the era

of Anthropocene to educate our future and present selves about the different types of this man-made fossil that will be 'found'. By portraying plastic as a valuable jewel, I hope to make us see it as such, to reconsider its application as disposables and question our throwaway attitude.