Who needs gold and silver when you’ve got … human hair

Olivia Hawley pendant

Unwanted human hair has been transformed into wearable jewellery by a student who has taken ‘upcycling’ to a whole new level.

Designed and made by Olivia Hawley, a final year student at Birmingham City University’s School of Jewellery, the collection aims to challenge society’s perception of beauty, and plays on people’s thoughts and reactions around hair removal.

Inspired by her love of hair and all things creepy and disturbing, Olivia’s collection includes brooches, necklaces and rings, comprising metal and real human hair.   

She said: “My inspiration ultimately came from my fascination with hair, and people’s thoughts surrounding hair once it has been removed from the body. The collection aims to challenge what we consider as beautiful, and plays on people’s thoughts around hair removal.”

Olivia admits that working with hair did pose some challenges. “The design stage was mainly led by the material itself. I realised that working with hair was harder than I first thought but by experimenting I was able to develop a technique using adhesive and matting which allowed me to mould the hair and give it structure.”

Olivia’s designs formed part of her final year project for her graduate degree show in Jewellery Design and Related Products, part of Birmingham City University’s Inspired Festival.

Olivia will now go on to exhibit her collection at the Lustre craft and jewellery fair in Nottingham later this year. Further information on her collection can be found by visiting her website, www.oliviastavahawley.co.uk.

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