Anabela Chan’s new Blooms Collection, made of recycled aluminium drink cans, is drenched in colour and glamour
The glamorous new creations of London-based jewellery designer Anabela Chan are drenched in colour – psychedelic hues to be precise. The latest range, Blooms, says Chan, offers a “new perspective on the possibilities of recycling waste materials, such as disposable soda cans: Essentially turning trash into treasures.” Visual imagery is very important to this architect-turned designer – it is a medium for story-telling and Chan finds the sensuality of what she sees “very powerful and moving.” For the Blooms Collection, Chan has sought inspiration from many of her favourite flowers, including peonies, roses, poppies, anemones, magnolias, and orchids.
Anabela Chan’s Blooms Collection
Where did the idea of using aluminium drink cans come from?
As a sustainable and ethical brand, our ideas always stem from thinking about new solutions to create a positive environmental impact within the industry. The core idea was to find a solution to reduce waste ending up in the landfill or the ocean, and creating a circular economy by turning aluminium cans into fine pieces of jewellery. Like all metals, aluminium is infinitely recyclable; yet there is a misconception in thinking that precious metals like gold and silver are only appropriate for jewellery. As it is a remarkably lightweight material that allows for grander scale pieces, it can be colour-treated with different techniques and aluminium proved to be the perfect material to bring my colourful Blooms Collection to life.
Your design project spanned two-and-a-half years beginning in 2017. What prompted you to design a jewellery line using recycled materials and promote sustainable solutions?
As a champion of laboratory-grown synthesized and simulated gemstones, our brand has always had the intention of promoting sustainable solutions in the fine jewellery industry. Although we have also worked with repurposed gemstones from estate and antique jewellery, creating a collection of materials using recycled aluminium was a more experimental alternative to the traditional use of precious metals. Every collection tells a different story. We perfected our process over two years by first cutting up disposed aluminium drink cans into small squares and melting these at approximately 600°C degrees, through a process of refining it – these are then poured into bars of aluminium ingots ready for casting.
Citrus Bloom earrings
In the Blooms Collection, you have incorporated a lot of colour as always. But this time, you have employed the PVD (Physical Vapor Deposition) technique to achieve the psychedelic tones. Tell us more.
Yes, the unusual, incredible psychedelic iridescent colours of the collection have been achieved by using physical electro vapour deposition, which is the same technique used in the automobile industry to colour car bodies. Iridescence is one of nature’s phenomenal wonders that I have always been drawn to. This lustrous, rainbow-like effect is one that I have embodied in my own work; from the butterfly wings found in my Bloom sculptures to our collection of unique scarab pins made of real beetle wings – PVD was a technique I was naturally drawn to employ and have enjoyed every step of the experimental process.
Your brand is available at Lane Crawford in Hong Kong. How has the Asian market opened up since?
We love Lane Crawford and Hong Kong is a magnificent city; we are proud to be represented there, in-stores and online for our Asian customers.
Fuchsia Sapphire Aluminium Bloom earrings
Light Green Aluminium earrings
Who has been spotted wearing your designs on the red-carpet last year?
This past year, Beyonce, Rihanna, Lady Gaga, Anne Hathaway, Julia Roberts, Lupita Nyong’o, and Taylor Swift, among other global superstars and Royalties, have all graced the red-carpet, music videos and events wearing our enchanting, statement pieces. At the Oscar parties last month, Jennifer Lopez, Candice Swanepoel, and Halima were all spotted wearing our jewellery. We are incredibly proud to be the first independent jewellery designer represented at the Elton John Aids Foundation Oscars Gala with our Diamond Foundry laboratory-grown diamonds Orchid Earrings and Ring auctioned by Sharon Stone and raising £72,000 for the important cause.