Dust, the non-object,  a collection of life’s leftovers: dirt, hair, pollen, fibres all collecting everywhere in our present  surroundings.  As an acting symbol of the transience of earthly achievements. the art world has incorporated this substance providing it with purpose.  Declaring its importance, renowned artist Pablo Picasso claimed;

“The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” –  Pablo Picasso

While many designers work diligently to shield their treasures from the mortality that dust implies, a fresh wave of designs have emerged illustrating the close relationship between decay and creation.


Striving to eradicate the negativity associated with the dubbed “useless” material and guide it into a positive existence, Japanese jewellery designer Teruo Akatsu challenges the environment where artists retrieve their material.

Accumulating his chosen material from fragments of roof tiles, the artist intricately threads the gathered dust onto stainless-steel wires and incorporates it into sheets of material among his designs. Believing the colours and nature of the substance play an important part in his jewellery-making, Akatsu forms beads from the dust then threads it onto silk wires in order to form the charming “Illusion Dust” necklace. (Power House Museum, 1993)

Dust Ringpsd

Ágústa Sveinsdótti

Exploring the nature of transformation and disintegration through dust,  Icelandic designer Ágústa Sveinsdótti has composed an elaborate collection as part of a Spiritualism, Craft and Waste series of projects by graduating students of Iceland Academy of the Art’s Product Design Department. (Frame Web, 2015)

Obtaining the wispy substance from the derelict niches of abandoned farms across the Icelandic countryside, the creative designer aims to break the traditional affiliations of dust by creating the revolutionary series of metallic wearables.

Dust Ring

Ágústa Sveinsdótti

Accentuating the materials worth, Sveinsdóttir provides the substance with purpose transforming it into a treasure in the form of a jewel coating. Transforming the material perceived by most as an annoyance, the piece is then transferred onto rings and bracelets, the Icelandic designer claims;

“With time dust withers away, revealing a manmade structure, a sort of skeleton within, giving the bearer a chance to savour every moment of its life span. It is a celebration of the fragile beauty that time and use impart to materials.” (Design Milk, 2015)

DUST BRACELET 2 Dust Bracelet 1

Ágústa Sveinsdótti

As the captivating designs are representative to the passing of time, the wearer can enjoy the full lifespan of each accessory before the jewel coating gradually withers away. With disintegration apparent, a mere skeletal structure is left behind of each piece. The Icelandic designer comments on the natural beauty of the collection;

“It is a celebration of the fragile beauty that time and use impart to materials.” — Ágústa Sveinsdótti (Design Boom, 2015)


Craft Austrailia (2006) Locating meaning in contemporary jewellery and object exhibitions [Online] Available at http://Http://basement.craftaustralia.org.au/articles/20060228.php [Accessed 2015]

Power House Museum (1993) Necklace, ‘Illusion dust’, dust/silk thread, Teruo Akatsu, Japan, 1993., 1993

Read more: http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/?irn=355335#ixzz3uOJ6rBG3

Under Creative Commons License: Attribution Non-Commercial [Online] Available at http://Http://www.powerhousemuseum.com/collection/database/?irn=355335&search=Jewellery+design&images=&c=&s=1 [Accessed 2015]

The Jewellery Icon (2013) Alex Soldier’s Diamond-Studded Dreams [Online] Available at http://Http://www.thejewelryicon.com/jewelry-now/designers/alex-soldier/4261/? [Accessed 2015]

Vogue (2013) Is Jewellery Art? [Online] Available at http://Http://www.vogue.co.uk/accessories/news/2013/05/22/why-is-bulgari-art-victoria-and-albert-museum-discussion [Accessed 2015]