I was born and raised in Italy. My formal education is in science, having earned a B.Sc. and MS degree in chemistry from the University ‘La Sapienza’ in Rome. I then received my Ph.D from the University of Zurich in Switzerland.
Even though my love for paper probably started way before my love for chemistry, I only started seeing my passion for paper not just as a hobby after moving to the US. And more precisely when I took my first jewelry class 10 years ago at Penland school of craft in North Carolina. I am now a full-time studio artist (ok, I’m lying here I still work in the chemistry lab once a week) and I travel for craft shows all over the country.
But enough about me, lets step into the studio!
I use many different kind of paper for my jewelry—sometimes it is the paper that informs my work, sometimes I start with a design idea and then I have to find the proper paper that will translate into the design.
I have shopping bags, books, magazine, maps, paint chips, patterned paper, money, yellow pages, newspaper, movie posters and the list goes on! (P.S. if you have some paper that is special to you and you want to make it into something wearable now you know who to ask!)
Once the right paper for a piece is selected, it needs to be reduced into strips, and that’s when the floor gets messy.
Next comes the weaving. The paper strips are handwoven into three-dimensional shapes by repeating the same movement over and over.
If you are wondering if this stage of the process is a little monotonous, absolutely not! It is definitively very labor intensive but it is also very rhythmic, almost meditative, and therefore my favorite part of my studio time.
Once a piece is done, it needs to be coated. Every piece is protected with an acrylic layer that prevents weather or wearing problems.
The tour has come to an end but if you want to know more about my work and my daily studio adventures, follow me on Instagram @francescavitalipaperjewelry It has been a pleasure to have you in my studio!
Stop by Main Street Arts to see Francesca’s work in our current exhibition “Multifaceted: An Exhibition of Fine Jewelry” through August 18, 2017.