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Laura Wass is fascinated by structures that are constructed from repeated elements.
The University of Pennsylvania graduate spent two years working with Philip Crangi before founding her own line, WXYZ Jewelry, last year. The collection, for her, is about exploring unconventional production methods that are oftentimes highly technical, including die casting original used-car parts, laser cutting and injection molding for rubber. She also discovered a company that works predominantly with etching computer and medical parts in New England to help in the production of her 3-D printed stainless steel pieces.
“The way that data is built, it’s a series of individual components. My design process mirrors the way technical information is built. It uses repeated individual elements to construct and build a new form in which those elements are transformed,” Wass said.
The designer’s Digital Heart, a massive statement necklace comprising just one shape that is repeated and stacked together to create a tiered form, is a prime example. “If one were to disassemble it, it would be a pile of 255 slices of stainless steel and green plastic,” she said.
For fall, the collection of about 30 pieces ranges from $50 for a small bracelet to about $1,000 for etched steel items and larger necklaces with special finishes such as an iridescent rainbow. (Wass discovered this technique while in an online forum for guns after learning the finish is often used to coat firearms.)
This particular finish, which Wass calls “oil slick,” is used in many of her pieces, from Circuit corset bracelets and necklaces of varying sizes to the Hinged Staircase cuff, fashioned from woven rubber tubes and hand-soldered gunmetal.
The line is available at wxyzjewelry.com.