Origins: A Tribute to Anishinaabe Craftsmanship

Paloma Sanchez's Award-Winning Design Breathes New Life into Ancient Treasures

Origins, a unique jewelry piece by Paloma Sanchez, pays homage to the Anishinaabe, the first inhabitants of the Great Lakes area. The design, a brooch that can also be worn as a necklace, features a 3,000-year-old copper spear point fishing tool, repurposed into a captivating piece of art jewelry.

The inspiration behind Origins lies in human history and diversity, and the importance of giving a new life to antique tools. The centerpiece of the design, a copper spear point, is a tribute to the rich history of the Anishinaabe. The rough texture of the old copper, combined with the smoothness of pearls and the brilliance of diamonds, creates a unique and captivating piece that celebrates shared history and the importance of repurposing antique treasures.

Origins was hand-crafted in 18kt gold using a casting technique. The copper spear point was found in the Great Lakes area and is complemented by Japanese Akoya pearls and diamonds. The design of the brooch ensures complete stability when worn, with two invisible needles preventing the piece from rolling to one side or the other.

The project started in Michigan, USA, in January 2020 and was completed in Beijing by the end of October 2020. It was exhibited at the Beijing Art and Design Fair in May 2021. The production of Origins presented two main challenges: maximizing its utility while conveying the Anishinaabe worldview in a contemporary context, and respecting the delicate museum piece during the manufacturing process.

To overcome these challenges, the design team developed a two-needle system that keeps the harpoon in a forward-facing position, whether worn as a necklace or a brooch. The manufacturing process was carefully planned to respect the delicate nature of the harpoon and to ensure zero waste. The end result is a piece that exudes luxurious allure while remaining faithful to the Anishinaabe worldview.

Origins was awarded Silver in A' Jewelry, Eyewear and Watch Design Award in 2023. This prestigious award is given to top-of-the-line, creative, and professionally remarkable designs that illustrate outstanding expertise and innovation. Paloma Sanchez's design is a testament to the power of repurposing and the beauty of ancient craftsmanship.

Project Details and Credits

Project Designers: Paloma Sanchez
Image Credits: Image #1: Creator Paloma Sanchez The Art of Jewelry, Origins, 2021. Image #2: Creator Paloma Sanchez The Art of Jewelry, Origins model necklace, 2021. Image #3: Creator Paloma Sanchez The Art of Jewelry, Origins model brooch, 2021. Video Credits: Creator Paloma Sanchez The Art of Jewelry, Origins, 2021.
Project Team Members: Paloma Sanchez
Project Name: Origins
Project Client: Paloma Sanchez

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