Circular design workshop — making jewellery from Stella Soomlais Studio leather scraps

Vivita / Lahenduste Laboratoorium
4 min readJul 14, 2023

Last Friday we got together with the vivinauts to think about what we could do with the scraps of leather that we received from our good partner Stella Soomlais. At Vivita, we value the systematic integration of sustainable philosophy into the learning process, and in many activities we use production residues from various companies.

Vivinauts visiting Stella Soomlais Studio. Photos: Vivita Estonia

Before the beginning of the workshop, we visited the Stella Soomlais studio, where vivinauts could get to know how the products are made, what is the product’s lifespan, and what happens when the bag owner decides that now is the right time to give her old bag a new life. We familiarized ourselves with the selection of materials, we studied what tools and instruments they use in the studio, how they can be used, and if the same tools are not available, how could we replace them.

Photos: Vivita Estonia

We learned that the design of the bags is based on the Round 2 principle developed by Stella Soomlais, which allows both the product and the material to be kept in circulation for a longer time. Therefore, the design of the items is minimalist and every detail has its own function. In order to leave as little cutting residue as possible after cutting out the products, the design of the bags is designed to optimize material costs. Larger leather scraps are used in the Stella Soomlais studio to make various accessories. Smaller pieces come to life in workshops conducted by their studio and by donating to various institutions.

The beginning of the workshop. Talking about circular economy. Photos: Vivita Estonia

So it was finally time to get hands on and make new items from leather scraps. In the beginning, we discussed what circular design is and what are the principles of it. We learned that the idea of a circular economy is based on the overuse of natural resources and the accompanying environmental effects. We introduced the vivinauts to the hand press, which has been in use in our studio for a long time. Everyone figured out what item they wanted to make from the skin scraps and then we got to work.

Lenna with her DIY earrings. Photos: Vivita Estonia

In the jewellery making workshop, earrings and bracelets were made from leather production scraps with simple and minimal forms. Vivinauts were able to engrave some quotes and initials on leather bracelets with the help of a laser cutter, install studs and make earrings. Jewellery was decorated in different techniques, and at the end of the workshop everyone was very satisfied with the jewellery they made.

Jewellery made from leather scraps made by vivinauts. Photos: Vivita Estonia

Such activities help children discover new areas and develop their own interests. The involvement of practitioners gives children the opportunity to learn from real experiences and see how knowledge and skills can be applied in everyday life. In addition, it helps children find interest in various professions and inspires them in shaping their future plans. Also, learning from real-life practitioners increases children’s confidence and motivation to learn because they see that their learning and effort is important and can be applied in the real world.

Thank you Stella Soomlais studio for the leather scraps! ❤

Text and photos: Vivita Estonia
July 2023

--

--

Vivita / Lahenduste Laboratoorium

A creativity hub for children designed to inspire and equip them with skills in creative problem-solving and prototyping.