Ashley Heather Jewellery: Picture Perfect

Ashley Heather, of Cape Town, South Africa is a designer upcycling in a truly unique way. Ashley creates contemporary pieces from silver that is reclaimed from photographic waste and other materials; a process that one can imagine is extremely time consuming and requires utmost exactness.


“… ethically produced handcrafted jewellery; a material expression of a fleeting moment … a story shared … a lesson remembered … an opportunity to connect …”


Interestingly, driven by her passion for sustainability and the environment, Ashley held off on her passion for creating jewelry for some time – as she did not want to contribute to the environmental, hazardous and social problems brought on by the traditional method of extracting precious gems and metals from the earth. However, her passion and talent could not be kept at bay, and she pushed herself to explore ethical and sustainable approaches and methods to creating jewelry that had impact – both visually and socially.


“Jewellery forges an intimate relationship to our physical and cultural bodies, a material encounter, a dialogue in constant motion. The objects I create are inspired by and emerge from their own materiality, exploring the relationship between the raw material and the cultivation imposed upon it by the physical act of crafting.”


Ashley thought to combine her professional experience as a photographer and her passion for ethical design and production to somehow create. After some time and research voila! Ashley began to explore the photographic waste process, in which she could reclaim to resuse the silver found in photographic products like photograph negatives and x-rays – which would normally be thrown away when their use had finished. Ashley exposes the materials to an electric current which leaves behind the silver to reuse on one of her beautifully minimalist pieces that explore the relationship between material and their transformation.

“My stories can be found in these pieces but it is my hope that as you wear them you will begin to recognise your own stories as well.”


Images courtesy of Ashley Heather Jewellery and Raymond Bourraine.

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