This bracelet by British jewelry designer Peter Chang is wholly entertaining, as much fun to look at as to wear. The bright green wheel features ten evenly distributed projections or terminals, each of which ends in a differently shaped and colored finial. The bright green body is punctuated with blue dots of varying sizes and the outer perimeter is marked with a wavy red line. The pattern and is Chang’s nod to biomimicry, an inspired interpretation of the skin of the octopus. Chang achieves this intense explosion of color using a high gloss plastic resin, the surface of which changes and shimmers with light and movement, similar to the skin of an octopus.
Chang’s work is not only bold and colorful, but narrative as well. Chang has created a universe for his jewelry pieces to live in, much the way graphic artists create a world for their characters. This Wheel of Life is number 011244 and according to the designer, was created to mark the 200th anniversary of the “Great War” of 3100 A.D. According to Chang, The Wheel of Life, aside from marking status, is a functional piece, allowing the wearer to collect samples throughout their travels.
The Wheel Bracelet is just one of a whole collection of similar works by Peter Chang. Through the use polyester and epoxy resins, Chang is able to bring his creative visions to life. Never boring, wearing a Chang bracelet enables the wearer to experience the fun and fantasy of the artist’s alternate universe.
Susan Teichman is a decorative arts historian specializing in jewelry and nineteenth century architecture.