leyt motiv - stylish plastic reuse
Sustainable contemporary jewelry brand
Laura Leyt, the founder of Leyt Motiv, was born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
After getting a degree in architecture she started experimenting her artistic inclinations focusing on several creative fields: photography, singing, dancing and more.
Since 2003 she has been studying contemporary jewelry with Jorge Castañon and did several workshops and seminars with other contemporary artists and jewelers go the highest caliber such as Peter Vermandere, Lin Cheung, Lisa Walker, Nelly Tanner, Ramon Puig Cuyás, Charon Kransen, Francisca Kweitel, Marina Massone.
Her brand Leyt Motiv is all about saving plastics from going to the landfills reshaping it into unique and colorful jewelry. Thanks to her innovative creative reuse technique in 2018 she won the "Argentinian Jewelry Prize" of the second Latin American Biennial of contemporary jewelry. Her work was showcased in South America and Europe in several art galleries (Galeria Reverso in Lisbon, Galería Amaranto Joies in Barcelona, Museo de Arte Popular José Hernandez de Buenos Aires, Galeria INNOVA in Uruguay, etc).
Tell me something about you, how did you become a sustainable designer?
I worked for many years as an architect but in 2003 I felt the need to change the scale and return to handcrafted works, so I decided to start contemporary jewelry studies.
My beginning in jewelry was with metal, but I think that we can find all we need around us, so I also designed and built pieces with different materials and creative techniques.
I like working with alternative materials because i love the challenge of manipulating them and finding out how far i can go, also
I try to reduce the use of new materials, not to generate more waste than the one that already exists in the planet.
In 2013 I started researching polluting materials because I had to make an art piece for an exposition called “Pending Issue “. I really wanted to work with a highly polluting material and that was the reason that I decided to work with plastics.
Since then, I have been working on "My plastic planet", a project that aims to revaluate plastic and show its potential as it unravels as the main material in pieces of contemporary jewelry.
Why do you think upcycling is important?
Nowadays challenge for humanity is to become more conscious about the kind of world we want to live in and work to achieve it. Recycling and up cycling waste and adopting a circular economy is an approach that allow us to promote responsible use of resources
Many items, especially clothes, can be upcycled just by experimenting and that is a modern challenge for designers, especially considering that people buy more goods that they actually need. Key is recycle, upcycle and repair.
To make a positive impact i think it's also fundamental to teach people to be users instead of consumers, promoting fair trade and circular economy, recycling, upcycling, etc
How do you transform waste?
The pieces are made with plastic bags (high and low density polyethylene - HDPE and PBD ), mostly used in the food industry, in supermarkets and shops.
The collected materials are then classified in types and colors, cut and melted with heat to make a dough which gets shaped and molded into something new. The finishing of the surface is made through electro polishing.
How can quarantine be a good moment for becoming more conscious and sustainable?
Quarantine is in the first place a good moment to think about our influence on the planet: it's very impressive to see how with fewer people commuting there has already been a significant decreasing in air pollution and seas and how animals began to appear in spaces where they were not seen before. It is not difficult to think that we are the one who force them in a quarantine in the first place.
I hope that many people learned the lesson and want now to make a change: it's time to realize that we can live with less and we don't need to overbuy.
On the other hand I think that there will always be who wants to earn more money and I'm really worried that they want to make up for lost time making things even worse than before.