LTAF ORIGIN is a design and craft research project by Jorinde Meline Barke, creator of label JMB JEWELRY, and Frank Michels, co-founder at Berlin based industrial design studio GECKELER MICHELS.
The outcome of the project is a set of four different jewelry pieces implemented in an ancient indian lost-wax casting technique called Dhokra. During preliminary research, anthropological literature led to Dr. Jaidev Baghels’ workshop in Kondagaon (Chhattisgarh, India), a renowned hotspot for Dhokra. The jewelry pieces were crafted on site under Frank Michels' assistance with both primitive and thoroughly fascinating means. Dr. Jaidev Baghels’ son Buphendra Baghel played a decisive role with leading the making and his team of skilled workers. The seemingly simple process turned out to be a complex and almost alchemistic affair, reminiscent of the Bronze Age’s enormous power of technical and social revolution. Into operation came materials such as sulfur yellow beeswax and black industrial paraffin way, river bed mudd, cow dung and earth from termite’s nests. Remains from used brass vessels were being recycled, and two hens were sacrificed in order to arouse a succesful casting operation.
The local culture, its rites and rhythms are founding the base for a process which becomes visible within this collection and give them their own character through charming imperfections and a naive bulkiness. From its formal point of view, LTAF ORIGIN is the result of a common examination with a formal theme, which appears as one of the oldest in the history of jewelry – two threaded strings interlacing each other, forming a torque. Looking further in history, we can find this theme amongst others in ancient Greece’s architecture and ornaments, as well as most folk cultures has plait hair styles in common … Not least, the flora which has such a great variety of shapes owns the torque in its own way. The usage of this themes timelessness turned out to be a fertile ground to playfully approach this ancient manufacturing process, assumably as old as the torque itself.
The making-of pictures in India go along with footage of the photo shooting of Jorinde Meline Barke's collection of garments designed for her graduation project.
Kondagaon, India 2011
Berlin, Germany 2011-2015
© 2015 — Jorinde Meline Barke & Frank Michels
Production and editing: Frank Michels
Editing supervision: Elisa Purfürst
Model: Tatjana - Cat Model Management
Makeup: Patricia Makosch
Music: Lucky Dragons - Take Turns