Aanchal Sukhija turns plumbing pipes and scrubbing pads into wearable art. Her statement pieces of jewellery were recently showcased in New York.
What can you do with a stainless steel scrub pad, besides giving your utensils a thorough scouring? Are mops meant to do any more than cleaning? Everyday objects have a way of landing up in the trash can once their primary objective has been achieved. But Aanchal Sukhija ponders over these small objects, transforming them into pieces of wearable art.
The popular blogger from Delhi has been in the news lately for creating a new line of jewellery from routine household objects, which was showcased in New York.
Since she started blogging four years ago, Aanchal has made a name for herself in the fashion industry. As a contributor of the Delhi Style Blog, her quirky, dramatic style has caught the attention of many, and the 25-year-old’s new venture is a happy mix of her multifarious interests.
“I feel guilty about my carbon footprint. With Mission Pluto I am trying to do my bit,” she says about her new line of sustainable jewellery that was recently showcased at New York Fashion Week. Mission Pluto is named after the planet that was downgraded (in the face of a lot of protest) from its planet status a few years ago.
“For me Pluto is anything that we ended up losing on our way, things we ignore, things we don’t care about, things we fail to look at from a different eye….things we don’t give second chance,” says Aanchal. Her jewellery line is certainly about giving a makeover to the things we often ignore, and offering them a new lease of life.
Aanchal’s choice of material is diverse—AC foam, stainless steel scrubs, scouring pads, kajal dibbis, plumbing ad washer pipes and mops.
Aanchal deconstructs these mundane objects and tacks them in a variety of chains, necklaces and earrings. The result is a set of unique jewellery that does not hide the commonplace characteristics of the objects, but rather elevates them to showcase a new side. “It’s a collaboration between the material and me,” Aanchal says. “Instead of looking at things, I want to look between the lines—read between the words. The most important things are left unsaid and unheard there!”
Foam and steel scrubbers are crafted into layered necklaces and earrings, while PVC pipes are broken down and remade into industrial-inspired jewellery. Made by hand, these pieces may be inspired by daily objects, but there’s almost nothing dull about the finished products.
“The idea was to find beauty in the most mundane things,” says the young designer. “There is no challenge in finding beauty in what’s already beautiful…the challenge is to find it in things we label. You know, for example Scotch Brite (a popular Indian scrub pad brand) is labelled for cleaning dirt and that’s that. It’s where the story ends—plumber pipes are for conveyance of water and gas in commercial environments and that’s that. But that’s not where the story ends I think that’s where the story starts.”
Eclectic, dramatic and attention grabbing, the jewellery is a means of transforming these household basics into conversation starters.
The making of jewellery is a great drain on natural resources, and many brands around the world have now turned their attention to sustainable jewellery whose materials are ethnically sourced. Yet it is often indie designers like Aanchal who hit the bull’s eye.
The designs were showcased at NYFW in a special collaboration between Aanchal and designer Vaishali S.
Aanchal who is currently dividing her time between New York and California, creates her jewellery specifically keeping the environmental impact and the inherent challenges of her raw materials in mind. Pipes and pads are not produced with the intention of being made into jewellery—their reinterpretation takes times and effort and it keeps the creator motivated.
“Limitations are awesome …I think they are a stimulant,” she says. “I am intrigued with the idea that you could do more with less. If you were told to make something with hundreds of things and the other using five things, you would have to be more inventive with five. That’s exactly what I do— the rules are the same, the limitations I give myself with the materials, but within that the potential seems endless.”
Aanchal thinks of her venture with Mission Pluto as a new humble beginning from her journey as a blogger. Much like the objects which gives a new perspective with her singular unusual perspective on design.
To know more about Mission Pluto or get in touch with Aanchal, click here.