On Sand

Conversation Table

‘On Sand’ is part of the ongoing one year research project ‘Jewellery Matter Time - True Cost of a Jewel’ by Irma Foldenyi and Saskia Van der Gucht at Sint Lucas Antwerpen - School of Arts KdG.

Sand is a granular material composed of finely divided rock and mineral particles consisting of loose grains between 2 and 0.0625 millimeters. It is a seemingly abundant resource which is mined worldwide and processed into structural materials such as concrete, glass and silicones. After water, sand is the most utilized natural resource on earth. It is present in every structure, road, window, and screen we use daily.

As abundant as it seems, as scarce it is predicted to become due to overconsumption by industrial use. The ecological and economic consequences of overmining result in illegal activities and local geographic conflicts. As researchers in the artistic field, we chose to work with sand - for its apparent finitude and therefore preciousness - and develop processes and objects that zoom into these qualities. 

What if sand is in fact an extremely valuable material? How would a jeweller then work with it?

‘Jewellery Matter Time - True Cost of a Jewel’ unveils contemporary stories about mined materials and how they contribute to jewellery as a practice. The movement of materials has a variety of ecological effects, many of which are concealed in the shadows behind shiny objects. If jewellery can tell stories, which stories could they tell about their origin in the age of the Anthropocene? 

objects and photos by Irma Földényi and Saskia Van der Gucht, 2022