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How logic and beauty came together

Discover how founder and designer Alexandra brings logic and beauty together through mathematics and design — in this case folding techniques.

When did you come up with the concept to focus on multi-faceted jewellery objects?

Well, that is a while back, for sure. It all started when I did a jewellery workshop in London. At that time I was working on very simple and symmetric wax models because geometry is my visual language anyway. My professional background is in graphic design, so I kind of brought over my aesthetic from 1D/2D into analogue 3D modelling.

I remember a moment when I intuitively discovered a form, only by filing material away from the wax. The little part reminded me of a screw with all the flat surfaces, but it wasn’t one. By asking myself where this shape is coming from, I found my answer in folding techniques and their grids. Because when you use these grids and transform them into 3D objects, the appearance of multifacetedness happens automatically.

How did you get the idea to use folding techniques, and what exactly does it mean?

That was another funny coincidence. One day I walked past an interior design shop where an origami installation was hanging in the window. Each of the six metal strings carried a piece of abstract folded paper, which in turn reminded me of my wax model. Thus began my study of folding techniques, in which one artist, in particular, opened my eyes — Paul Jackson. He is a professional paper artist, paper engineer, author, and teacher. His philosophy of folding is that you can fold in 1D, 2D, and 3D, straight, curved, and zigzag, with pretty much any kind of material. The world of folding is huge, and origami is only a small part of it.

After this switch of perspective, I noticed, that I had a painted piece in my flat already. It was a two-dimensional silk print entitled “figura” by Hermann Glöckner. He was a German painter and sculptor who implemented folding different media.

After you digger deeper into the world of folding, what happened next?

You might think I folded frogs and flowers back then, but that wasn’t the case. I saw a lot of potential in exploring the grids, so I did a lot of graphic studies and 3D modelling. Early on, I realized that these grids are very flexible when it comes to which folds you add, take away, or even combine. So I needed something that would control the number of folds while making them more distinct from each other.

The solution was in the Geometric Series — it starts with one and then always goes into doubling, so 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, and so on. And that’s how mathematics came into play. I used it as a tool that helped me to limit and define the designs at the same time. To put it in a nutshell, I use it to control the folds, the dimensions, and even the material thicknesses. However, since human geometry follows individual measurements, I had to make exceptions for the rings and bangles so that the objects would be wearable, obviously.

So you must be very good at maths?

To set that straight, I’m not good at maths, but I can count 😉

And is there another area where mathematics comes into play?

I guess it depends on how you define maths and how each individual sees the world. In my opinion, mathematics is everywhere, we are surrounded by it. For example, when I look at my works, I see angles, lines, and faces, while other people see a structure.

At the latest with digital 3D modelling, mathematics comes into play, because all the parameters are calculated mathematically and thus create the appearance of the object. So luckily you don’t have to be good at maths, you just have to know how to make it work for you…

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