Iris Nijenhuis is an Amsterdam based jewellery designer with a passion for laser cutting and a wide interest in experimental shapes and structures. She graduated from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute with a collection of fabrics and unique pieces that emerged from a broad research into the use of innovative techniques. She tries to extend the value of textiles by extracting the essence and adding functionality to the fabric. By experimenting with laser cutting she has developed a technique to cut the fabric into small puzzle pieces, forming the base of her design process. By connecting the puzzle pieces together manually, it raises unlimited possibilities to create unique designs.
In co-operation with the Fund for the Creative Industries, MOTI Museum approached 10 designers with a brief to create an innovative piece that captured the future of fashion. This project, Te[ch]x(t)iles, was a part of the exhibition Couture Graphique (2013). Iris dismantled an old Chesterfield armchair and cut up the leather into several small pieces and some larger patterns using laser cutting equipment. She then proceeded to assemble the pieces by hand, resulting in a large finished object made up of 1.400 leather puzzle pieces!
To make this technique more suitable for wearable items Iris started designing a jewellery collection. Again, she was using laser cutting and various materials such as artificial leather, neoprene and scuba. The elements are washed, dried and then connected piece-by-piece to form necklaces, collars, chokers, bracelets and earrings.
Iris designs are accessible and easy to wear. Her customers are unique fashionable people, regardless of their age. Most of her designs are statement pieces, they’re tactile and ‘conversation starters’ so it does take some courage to wear them. Even though they appear big and bold, they are very lightweight and are even washable! The product is ready-to-wear.
Iris Nijenhuis’ concept is to play with the shape and size of your necklace by removing or adding pieces in order to create your own unique design. However, most customers don’t dare to take it apart.