Reinventing the Wheel by Nasa

reference for jewellery in science

‘The game changing material that dramatically advanced the development of spring tires was nickel titanium, a shape memory alloy with amazing capabilities as explained by Santo Padula.’ Ream more here.

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Anthropocene Spike

reference for jewellery in science

Many boundaries between geologic eras are marked by physical golden spikes.
Cover image: Anthropocene spike, a golden spike driven into a rockface to mark the beginning of the Anthropocene geological era. © Victoria and Albert Museum, London


Does the Anthropocene, the Age of Humans, Deserve a Golden Spike?  article, The New York Times

Where in the World Is the Anthropocene? article

Driving the Golden Spike, article, e-flux




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Many boundaries in geological history are demarcated physically with a golden spike in a particular rock layer, as here near Pueblo, Colo. (GSSP is the acronym for Global Stratotype Section and Point.)        Credit Brad Sageman, Northwestern University




Jewellery Matters Symposium at Rijskmuseum

a presentation by Jewellery Perspectives at Jewellery Matters Symposium, organised by Marjan Unger, Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, 2017


‘Welcome in the Anthropocene: You have entered a new material epoch’

‘Il y a une nouvelle terre, cette terre agitée et sensible à nos mouvements, qu’on ne connaissait pas et qui est une terre nouvelle’. Bruno Latour

Human beings have so fundamentally altered the geology of the planet, that scientists named a brand-new geologic epoch after us: the Anthropocene. Many scientists say the Anthropocene started on July 16, 1945, when humans detonated the first atomic bomb and left a powerful chemical marker in the geological record. Other experts say the exact beginning may be a bit fuzzier. Regardless of the precise date, one thing is certain: our footprint on the planet – based at least partially on the materials we’ve created, moved around, or just left behind – will be visible for millions, or even billions, of years.

In this new era of the Anthropocene, scientists note that humans have produced unusual new materials like radioactive fallout from nuclear tests in the 1950s and 1960s, or ‘plastiglomerate’, an indurated, multi-composite material made hard by agglutination of rock and molten plastic. A recent scientific paper catalogs hundreds of these new materials, and estimates that humans are responsible for roughly 4% of all the minerals on Earth. Some formed along the slippery walls of mines, where cool, moist air reacted with sooty particles of iron ore; others were created in the depths of the ocean as ancient shipwrecks were eroded by the salty sea. Due to the relative distance we have from these materials, the changing epoch is still a rather abstract notion to us creatives. What will these materials become, how can they enter the material flows of the contemporary world and what can the role of jewellery designers be in this paradigm shift?

The Anthropocene addresses us: it compels us to re-think how we – as researchers or creatives from the fields of design, jewellery or the arts – can position ourselves in this new material world. How can such a world today offer potential futures for jewellery practice in the 21st century? Can the engagement with this new material world become the new work environment, the laboratory, which operates beyond the protective confines of the artisanal workshop? This contribution is a statement of purpose for radically interdisciplinary modes of research and practice of jewellers in the Anthropocene.

Jewellery Perspectives is a research project by designer Irma Földényi (HU, based in Rotterdam) and curator Evelien Bracke (BE, based in Antwerp). By mapping various fields such as science, economy, literature, politics and film among others, the project’s aim is to research and share new contexts where jewellery design could reset its worldly relevance.

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reference for jewellery in science

The term “plastiglomerate” refers most specifically to “an indurated, multi-composite material made hard by agglutination of rock and molten plastic. This material is subdivided into an in situ type, in which plastic is adhered to rock outcrops, and a clastic type, in which combinations of basalt, coral, shells, and local woody debris are cemented with grains of sand in a plastic matrix.”

More reading


That Time an Astronaut Lost His Wedding Ring in Space

reference for jewellery in science

That Time an Astronaut Lost His Wedding Ring in Space

…’On the second day of the 1972 11-day trip to the moon and back, command module pilot Ken Mattingly lost his wedding ring. “It just floated off somewhere, and none of us could find it.’…

…’Duke, Mattingly, the ship, and the ring were flying through space together at 3,000 feet per second, but in the absence of wind resistance, as Duke puts it, things just “move along together.” So there they were, floating while really zooming along—Charlie watching the unrushed ring head to its fate in the vast darkness. But as he watched, Duke realized the ring was headed right for the back of Mattingly’s head.’…

full article








Planetary Resources


reference for jewellery in economy


Platinum, a precious heavy metal was first used by pre-Columbian South American Natives to produce artefacts. It was referenced in European writings as early as 16th century after the Spanish Conquistadors discovered the white metal in the rivers of Ecuador in 1590. Rarer than many other metals, only about 133 tons of platinum are mined each year compared to 1782 tons of gold.

Platinum is abundant in Asteroids, which are minor planets of the inner Solar System, mainly composed of mineral and rock. The size of asteroids varies greatly, some reaching as much as 1000 km across.

Planetary Resources is a company, who wants to mine Asteroids. o achieve this, they will expand the Earth’s natural resource base by developing a robotic asteroid mining industry.

In 2015 President Obama signed a historic piece of legislation into law that recognises the right of US citizens to own asteroid resources they obtain and encourages the commercial exploration and utilisation of resources from asteroids. This new commercial exploration has been called as the new gold rush.

sources Asteroids, Planetary resources, Platinum