Friday, July 18, 2008

Joyas y Chapas de Tapas - Nicologia

Nicologia is my name for the Nicaraguan ability to transform objects considered by others to be garbage into useful and often beautiful things. This ability is most obvious in poor communities, and thus is often rejected by people of greater means, who seek the shiniest, newest, most ostentatious of everything. My Nicologia project seeks to raise the profile of this national strength, and promote it as something 'cool', and as a tool for sustainable development.

I started with bottle cap jewelry. I now work with a nonprofit called NicaHope and group of teenagers whose families make their living scavenging in La Chureca, Managua's enormous dump. I collect bottle caps from several countries, and have allies who collect on our behalf. Coca Cola's representative in Managua has approached us with a proposal to make promotional items. Over the 2 years since I started wearing my 'trash' earrings public comment has shifted from calling me 'la gringa loca' to 'donde se puede comprar?'


Leslie Suter said...

Hi Jessica. I love what you are doing. I'm curious... are you aware of indigenous Nicaraguan jewelry making, in style or in materials? Meaning - have you seen Nica artisans creating wood or ceramic beads or something similar? I travel to Nicaragua frequently through my full time job, but make jewelry on the side. I would love to bring back Nicaraguan bead work to the states.

Jessica Hirst said...

Hi Leslie, Thank you for your support. I have seen a lot of work with seeds large and small, some with natural designs that look like beads. It is an art in itself. There are some wooden beads, and a lot of wire work. cheers, jessica

Mike said...

Saludos Jessica. I'm one of the directors for a grassroots project out on Isla Ometepe - Project Bona Fide - which has just begun a community center to host a diversity of programs. One of which I would like to be a small jewelry making workshop, thus my stumble upon your insiring efforts. Not being a savvy jewelry fashionista I thought I would try connecting with you and hopefully find some ideas to starting something up.. Maybe a visit to your workshop or vice versa if you'd like to visit the Isla.

Micael Judd