Untitled bracelet (2015)
20 cm diameter x 3.5 cm high
Six stitched layers of paper
Luis Acosta is a textile and paper jewellery designer based in Utrecht, in the Netherlands. He works from his home studio and has been combining textiles and jewellery for the past 20 years. His pieces are in galleries worldwide including The Museum of Arts and Design in New York.
What is your background in textiles
In 1974, I moved from Córdoba to Buenos Aires (Argentina) where I had two jobs working in a bank and at the Town Hall. On Saturdays I studied designing and weaving tapestries and woven fabrics. In 1983 I joined the Gerrit Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam (the Netherlands) and I graduated in textiles in 1988. In 1996 I started designing paper jewellery and I have worked with textiles and paper jewellery ever since.
How do you describe your work?
The fundamental basis of my work is my skills as a weaver. In jewellery or textile installation, the pattern repeat element is always present.
As a designer I’m particularly interested in forms. Once I discover a form, I enlarge or repeat it. Than I concentrate on exploring the possibilities as a basis for developing a design. It is important to work with both, shapes and colours. The first gives dimension to the design while the second provides warmth.
Regarding the technique which I use for my jewellery I used the knowledge and experiences of the past and started experimenting and developed my own style and technique. The result is very colourful.
Your work has been very varied, do you now specialise in jewellery?
The textile element is the most important basis in my formation, slowly, gradually it gave direction since 1996 to the realisation of paper jewellery.
When I make jewellery, more of less unconsciously I keep in mind the textile weft. Without this education and experience I would not be able to make the works I am making nowadays.
Why do you like the medium of paper?
For me paper is like the palette for the painter. Having paper in my hands is like having any other material from textile origin.
Where do you get your paper from or do you make it?
Every city I visit for the first time, the first thing I do is visit a paperwork store to see if there is paper that I can use.
I buy just one or two sheets of each type. I always use 6 layers of paper. The numbers 1, 3, 4 and 6 are usually handmade papers that come from Thailand, India, Japan, etc.. The numbers 2 and 5 are double-sided wrapping paper from Switzerland. These are the papers giving rigidity to the pieces.
How do you work?
I do not seek inspiration, the forms are everywhere. You have to see them and discover how to develop them to a design.
To make a jewellery of paper I draw each module that will integrate a piece. Once the drawing is completed I add to that sheet of paper, six others. I sew (none of the papers are glued), then cut and stitch each section, one followed by the other, to form the jewellery.
For paper thread jewellery, I draw a shape that will serve as a model for each link. Each of them is formed with the principle of the Möbius strip, and I incorporate one Quipus (knot).
I then copy the drawing while I sew the paper thread. Then I proceed by adding one by one to form the final piece.
I am really satisfied with each piece so I can not say which is my favourite one. Each of them has its own charm. I always see each of my pieces as small sculptures.
What are you most proud of in your career so far?
I can happily say that every day I receive beautiful compliments on my Facebook. Are all unrequested and honest comments. They make me feel good. For that I’m proud.
Do you have any advice for aspiring textile artists?
The most important and in the first place: you must be honest with yourself. Then, you must be persistent, do not give up, time will pass anyway, pass it doing something you like or working toward your dream.
Do not compare yourself with others, each person takes a unique journey.
Upcoming exhibitions are: 29Mar – 21Apr (solo), kunst.wirt.schaft, Elisabethstraße 14 – Graz – Austria www.kunstwirtschaft.at/
13Aug – 24Sep (group), Galerie De Kapberg, Slotweg 17, 1934 CM Egmond aan den Hoef – the Netherlands, www.galeriedekapberg.nl/