Italy Today

Meet the Italian artist transforming bicycle wheels into jewels

Annamaria Plescia can create amazing pieces out of rubber inner tubes of wheels

Meet the Italian artist transforming bicycle wheels into jewels

Claudia Astarita


If somebody would tell you that rubber inner tubes from bicycle wheels and other vehicles can be transformed into beautiful and precious jewels you would most lickely think this is a joke. And you would be wrong, as the Italian artist and jewelery makers Annamaria Plescia has actually succeeded in creating amazing pieces out of bicycle wheels.

These unique creation will be on show this weekend in Melbourne, at Bini Gallery, the famous Italian Gallery specialized in handcrafted jewellery creations. The artist Annamaria Plescia will be there to share with the public the secrets of her very new series of jewellery pieces.

"My practice involves the use of found materials and ordinary consumer goods, multiples, repetition and pattern to explore ideas of containment, inside and outside, skins and the ambivalent overlapping of chance and control, containment and excess. Some of these elements resurface in Material Traces and Other Layers where found rubber inner tubes from bicycle wheels and other vehicles have been transformed into wearables".

As the artist further explained, "despite being an internal skin protected by the external tyre, the inner tube is inscribed with history because of our interaction with the material which causes visible alterations on its surface. To start with there is imprinted manufacturer trademarks, origin and sizing specifications and moulding lines. There are marks and discoloration traces due to the repetitive pulling and pushing action of the wheel in motion which also provide additional texture and traces of place and time.

Finally I add a last layer of alterations with oval and round cutwork which blurs these traces of history and memory and transforms the thick rubbery material into a more delicate and wearable one".

The "Material Traces and Other Layers" exhibition organized at Bini Gallery is a reflection on how these different elements add a sense of provenance and experience to each piece and how they ultimately render each one quite unique. A must-see for all jewel lovers.

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