Diary of a Lab-Rat, aka Alice | COPPER

Wohooo - I have finally begun playing in the newly renovated studio. Even writing this makes me smile! I have a plethora of things I want to explore in this space. My own brain works way ahead of its processing speed, and I think above and beyond each task I am undertaking,  but alas I need to focus on a few experiments at a time and the implementation and documentation of each. I dress myself in a lab coat as the physical act of doing this makes me feel more like a scientist and therefore puts me into  a research and annotation mode. It's weird, I know, but it works for me! 

As I have mentioned before we gather waste in different ways here in the studio, and so I am embarking on a project to explore a complete circular economy for Alice Made This.

We already take note of the 'design for a circular economy' by thinking how we will break our products down at the point of creation. But here in the lab I now want to look more at where we have waste, and how we can minimise and re-use this. There are a few areas I am looking at:

  1. The point at which we cut our metals (for example our Precision turning shavings).
  2. Any development samples we create.
  3. A product that has been is rejected in quality control (hairline scratches or small nicks).
  4. Surplus stock (a discontinued item that we may hold raw parts of in the studio or warehouse). This tends to be quite low as we make in small batches for both cash-flow reasons, and for responsible business to avoid any stockpiling problem.
Alice Made This | Copper jewellery waste | Experiments | AMT Lab | Circular Economy

Over the summer last year I had the pleasure of working with Lucy Mayes of London pigment to explore the idea of using oxidation of our metals as a resource. I loved spending time with her. She is a true expert in natural pigments, and I feel quite honoured to have access to her mind and her skillset.

Taking these learnings I have now started the process of experimentation with our copper jewellery waste here at the studio. Acidity and moisture play a massive role with the oxidation of metals so phase one is to explore the effect different acidic environments have on the materials. You can follow the day to day on our Instagram feed but hear I consolidate the setting up of our copper explorations…Enjoy!

Alice Made This | AMT Lab | Copper | Jewellery | Experiments | Circular Economy
Alice Made This | AMT Lab | Copper | Jewellery | Experiments | Circular Economy | Verdigris