11 pieces of jewelry

Blueprint of an Entire Jewelry Collection in 11 Pieces

On 21 April 2014, the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) published an article on its website entitled ‘11 Pieces of Jewelry Every Woman Should Own’. In this article the GIA enumerates a list of 11 indispensable jewels or the complete jewellery wardrobe for every woman: stud earrings, statement earrings, hoop earrings, a pendant, a strand of pearls, a statement necklace, bangles, a charm bracelet, a cuff, a cocktail ring and stackables. (

This absurd list inspired me to make the work ‘Blueprint of an Entire Jewellery Collection in 11 Pieces’, a series of posters for which I used the technique of cyanotype, a photographic process that is better known under the name ‘blueprint’. In 11 posters, one for each jewel, I combined a line drawing with an X-ray-like image of an elaborate jewel of the same type. The line drawing is stripped of all ornamentation and restores the jewel back to its essence. The ‘genuine’ jewel is a stereotypical example par excellence of the jewel to be acquired.

TThe cyanotype or blueprint was used by architects and engineers to copy their original drawings, it disappeared with the rise of the copy machine. A blueprint was the source of everything, the foundation from which tangible form arose. The term ‘blueprint’ is therefore still used to indicate the document that forms the basis for all subsequent designs.

© Liesbet Bussche, ‘Blueprint of an Entire Jewelry Collection in 11 Pieces’, 50 x 70 cm (portrait), watercolor paper, blueprint (cyanotype process), 2015