L'arte dei gioielli di carta: una conversazione con Verde Alfieri

Crafting Art: An Interview with Verde Alfieri

In this interview with Verde Alfieri, paper jewelry designer, we dive into the world of creating unique and sustainable jewelry. Verde shares his journey, starting from his beginnings as a digital artist to the complex process of creating paper jewelry. A self-taught artisan, she discusses the challenges and joys of experimentation and how to stay true to your signature style.

Verde Alfieri is a passionate digital artist who found her unique path in the world of contemporary jewelry. With her love for modern art and a background in graphic design, Verde embarked on a creative journey that ultimately led her to create stunning, one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces. In this interview, we delve into her artistic process, her commitment to sustainability, and the unique charm of her paper jewelry.

The Beginnings: From Digital Art to Jewelry

Verde's journey into the world of craftsmanship and artistry was somewhat serendipitous. Her passion for digital art had always been a driving force, but it wasn't until she stumbled upon contemporary jewelry that her professional evolution took a different turn. Her initial experiments involved working with sailboat ropes and cotton cords, making her way into this unique art form.

A self-proclaimed autodidact, Verde learned her craft through independent exploration, constantly experimenting and, of course, making her fair share of mistakes. Her journey was marked by an ever-evolving artistic evolution, and her mistakes, while frequent, ultimately led to the remarkable results she achieves today.

The Artisan's Revelation

It was the discovery of paper jewelry that ignited Verde's passion for this craft. Her early works revolved around experimenting with cords and threads, creating a remarkable bridge between the ethereal world of digital art and the tactile realm of jewelry.

Verde didn't always envision herself as an artisan. Her background was in graphic design, a career she dedicated 26 years to, and that was meant to be her future. The debut of her first cord jewelry collection occurred in late 2013, and a few months later, in 2014, she introduced her paper jewelry collection. However, these collections marked the beginning of her new creative world. She still had much to learn.

Crafting Unique Art: The Process

Verde's artistry is unique in that she eschews specific techniques for her jewelry. While numerous techniques exist in the world of paper craftsmanship, Verde follows no strict guidelines or methods, allowing her innate creativity to flourish. Her works resonate with her personal touch, transcending trends and styles.

As for materials, Verde primarily utilizes various types of paper, ranging from precious to recycled. She incorporates a few other materials like findings and, at times, semi-precious and precious stones.

The Creative Flow: Passion and Routine

Verde's creativity isn't regimented by fixed processes or routines. She's what you might call an unconventional jewelry designer. Unlike many of her peers who start with drawings, she lets the manipulation of paper inspire her. She envisions shapes that form the foundation for her paper elements. She then meticulously cuts sheets into hundreds of these shapes, later deciding how to transform them into jewelry. Her process, starting from assembly through the classical threading method, is akin to a seamstress's work, making it almost a routine in itself.

Design Philosophy and Uniqueness

Verde is exceptional in her approach to design. She never begins with a blueprint; instead, she allows the tactile sensations of the paper to guide her creativity. She is drawn to soft, sinuous forms, a hallmark of her art. These forms, created through cutting and threading paper, yield three-dimensional shapes, reflecting the artist's devotion to her craft.

Verde also keeps a close eye on her peers' work, especially those who dare to push boundaries and explore uncharted territories. She searches for inspiration in their creations, hoping to discover the spark that will propel her into newer, more contemporary styles.

Guiding Values: Artistic Vision and Uniqueness

In the realm of artistry, it can be challenging to stand apart from the crowd. For Verde, creating something truly unique isn't just a goal; it's a fundamental principle. She believes that design should be the primary source of uniqueness, second only to the interplay of colors. Verde doesn't settle for simply threading identical paper circles in monotonous colors. Her commitment to being distinctive and recognizable drives her to go beyond established norms, continually pushing her boundaries and avoiding replication.

When asked to describe her style, Verde is stumped for a one-word answer. She would rather have others define it, eagerly anticipating their perceptions.

Bespoke Creations: The Art of Commissions

Verde has experience in crafting commissioned pieces for both private clients and larger projects. She relishes these opportunities because they provide an outlet for her boundless creativity, and she appreciates that clients seldom set boundaries, understanding the importance of artistic freedom in her work.

Crafting Favorites and Proudest Achievements

Verde finds it challenging to pinpoint a single favorite creation; there are many. She especially cherishes the necklaces where she had intuitive breakthroughs leading to unique shapes.

But if she were to identify her proudest achievement, it would be the transformation of her "Corolla" necklace, an ingenious structural evolution of an earlier concept. The second piece is a collar necklace named "Way," which she crafted for a project with Snaidero. This piece is meticulously "sewn" together with a needle and thread, signifying a triumph of craftsmanship and a truly unique jewelry item.

Naming the Art: A Unique Process

Verde's approach to naming her creations is far from random. She keenly observes her jewelry and listens to what it conveys, allowing her pieces to suggest their own names.

Best-Selling Creations

While Verde has numerous best-selling pieces, her "Petals" necklace, with its appealing design and an array of color combinations, stands out as a fan favorite.

Caring for Paper Jewelry

Contrary to popular misconceptions that paper jewelry is delicate and prone to damage, Verde's creations are durable and surprisingly resilient. Her jewelry, crafted from various paper materials, can quickly recover if they get damp. Verde's advice: avoid wearing art jewelry to the beach or in the shower.

Finding Verde's Creations

Verde's exquisite creations can be found on her website, www.verdealfieri.com, which also hosts a shop for purchasing her art. She's active on social media, especially Instagram, through her account "Alfieri Jewel Design," where she frequently updates her followers about upcoming exhibitions and events.

The Path to Sustainability

Sustainability is an integral aspect of Verde's work. She creates paper jewelry without resorting to industrial processes, making her art 100% sustainable. She sources her paper materials from companies committed to sustainable production, from initial manufacturing to responsible waste management.

Sustainable Integration

Recycling is a vital component of Verde's sustainability approach. She recycles as much as possible, notably minimizing paper waste after the initial cut. Excess paper scraps often serve as the basis for crafting other jewelry items. Verde has even designed an entire collection using recycled paper, the "Parole d'Amor" collection, crafted from book pages. Customers can choose a specific book, whether a novel, poetry book, or an illustrated book, to give the jewelry a unique touch. Verde also recycles book covers to create jewelry boxes.

A few years ago, she crafted ten jewelry pieces for the Hera Group, utilizing pages from their corporate sustainability reports for the jewelry, and their covers for the boxes. This initiative was a source of immense satisfaction.

Balancing Art: Uniqueness versus Repetition

In Verde's world, jewelry pieces are 

almost all unique in some way. Even her production series consist of pieces that exhibit subtle variations – be it color combinations or the number of paper elements. While she can replicate each design, there's never one piece identical to another.

A Glimpse into the Artisan's Secrets

Verde is known for the exquisite finish of her jewelry, something that sets her work apart. While some might assume that she employs laser-cutting techniques for her paper, she clarifies that her meticulous craftsmanship eschews such methods. For cutting the paper, she uses manual die-cutting machines, often handling each element individually, or a cutting plotter. As the final step, every jewelry piece receives meticulous hand-finishing, using sandpaper and scissors, ensuring they are not just visually appealing but also incredibly tactile.

The Impact of Art

Verde's creations can significantly influence those who wear them, elevating their style and personality. With each piece she crafts, she aims to infuse a sense of artistry into the wearer's life.

Connecting through Art

For Verde, her ideal customer is not merely someone seeking a piece that matches an outfit but someone who can fully embody the distinct design and colors of her creations. It's about making a statement and feeling complete when wearing her jewelry.

Challenges and Boundaries

The artisan's journey has been marked by rapid growth, but it hasn't been without challenges. One of the most significant hurdles she faces is participating in competitions and hoping to be selected. Verde copes by investing countless sleepless nights, revising, recreating, and refining her pieces to deliver the best.

The Artist's Vision

As for the future, Verde hopes her work will continue to thrive. She wishes to spread her unique art to a wider audience and aims to secure the recognition she believes paper jewelry deserves. At present, paper jewelry often evokes associations of being low in value and quality, an image she wants to change. The depth of her artistry is something she is keen to highlight.

Guidance for Aspiring Artisans

For budding artisans and artists, Verde's advice is simple but profound. She emphasizes the importance of creating a unique style, pushing boundaries to be innovative and avoiding imitation. She believes that, with sufficient skill, one can produce something that's never been seen before, and paper, as a material, offers limitless potential for creativity.

Art in Society

Verde underscores the vital role of art in society, asserting that society cannot exist without it. Every aspect of our lives, even the most mundane, is rooted in artistic concepts. Eliminating art would mean losing a considerable portion of our history, growth, and knowledge. Art is a reflection of the collective human experience, and it must be nurtured and celebrated, not just as a marketable commodity but as an essential part of human existence.

Verde Alfieri's unique journey from digital art to contemporary jewelry is an inspiring testament to the power of individual creativity and artistic evolution. Her dedication to sustainability and unique design sets her apart in the world of craftsmanship, creating one-of-a-kind pieces that transform the way we see and experience art.

Visit Verde Alfieri's website to explore her stunning paper jewelry and discover the beauty of craftsmanship that defies convention. You can also connect with her on Instagram at "Alfieri Jewel Design" to stay updated on her latest creations and exhibitions.

Verde Alfieri's story reminds us of the transformative power of creativity and the unending possibilities that artistic expression offers. Her paper jewelry is not merely an accessory; it's a tangible piece of art that carries the essence of her journey from digital dreams to tactile realities

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