Iris Nijenhuis is an Amsterdam based designer with a passion for laser cutting and a wide interest in experimental shapes and structures. During her graduation at the Amsterdam Fashion Institute in 2011 she tried to give textile constructive value, without the use of a sewing machine, stitches or glue. By experimenting with laser cutting she developed a technique in which the fabric is cut into small puzzle pieces that form the basis of the design proces. By connecting the puzzle pieces together manually, inspiring shapes and structures are created that can form various products.
Iris’ designs are mainly ready-to-wear, but you can puzzle your own piece in her DIY-workshops. Combine your favourite colours in a cheerfull bracelet, brooch, necklace or bow-tie!
She would love to wrap the whole world in puzzle pieces! But in addition to creating puzzles she also engages in commissioned work in graphic design and laser cutting for both business and private.
It’s not leather…
” The first words I hear at exhibitions are: Hey, leather jewellery…
Close call, but in fact… it’s not leather:)
For some a minor detail, for some a big difference.
– So if it’s not an animal skin, what is it? –
I use all kinds of textiles like scuba, neoprene and the finest qualities of artificial leather (also called: veganleather, pleather etc.).
The tiny puzzle pieces can be digitally placed on the laserbed very efficiently, so there is hardly any waste.
I sometimes recycle fabrics from second-hand clothing, but not everything is suitable for lasercutting and puzzling. Get in touch if you are a textile professional who works with these kind of fabrics!”
So how did this all happen?
Iris graduated from the Amsterdam Fashion Institute with a collection of fabrics and unique pieces that emerged from a broad research into the use innovative techniques. She tried to extend the value of textile by extracting the essence and adding functionality to the fabric.
In co-operation with the Fund for the Creative Industries, MOTI (Museum of the Image) approached 10 designers to create an innovative piece that captured the future of fashion. This project, Te[ch]x(t)iles, was a part of the exhibition Couture Graphique. Iris Nijenhuis dismantled an old Chesterfield armchair and cut up the leather (yes… this was real leather: very smelly to laser-cut!) into hundreds of small pieces and a few larger patterns using a laser cutter. She manually put all the pieces together that resulted into a large Master piece, which contains about 1400 leather puzzle pieces! According to Iris Nijenhuis this technique is a good solution for the reuse of textile, if you’ve worn out your coat or top, cut it into puzzle pieces and you can recreate new shapes and accessories. Te[ch]x(t)iles was exhibited at MOTI (Museum of Image, 2012), OBA (Central Public Library Amsterdam, 2013), MUDAC (Musée de design et d’arts appliqués contemporains, Lausanne, 2014)
Trying to make this technique more suitable for wearable designs Iris Nijenhuis developed the jewellery collection. Artificial leather, scuba and neoprene is cut by laser, washed and dried and then she puzzles it together piece by piece into necklaces and bracelets.
Artist Portrait by:
Ella H. Photography