Dutch jewellery designer Dora Kloppenburg creates block necklaces and hairbands out of recycled wood – zebrano, ebony, beech and walnut. Her designs are minimalistic, stylish, but playful – the blocks move and can be configured in different ways.
Dora, whose childhood ambition was to be a fashion designer, studied pattern, fashion design, and textiles. Her desire to work with different materials led to a switch to product design, where she specialised in shoes. After graduating she worked as a textile designer and product developer, an experience that not only fired her interest in start-ups but gave her the skills to set up on her own. Dora Kloppenburg was launched in 2013 in Utrecht.
Dora’s fascination with Russian constructivism, particularly in art and architecture, can be seen in her unique and innovative designs which demonstrate that construction and structures can be manipulated into something smaller and simpler.
She says “New ideas can come from anywhere – kitchen utensils, the train or DIY shops”, and children’s wooden play bricks inspired her block necklaces which the wearer can explore and assemble in different ways.
Her research often takes place in the library, where she enjoys stumbling across “beautiful” books about new artists. Information is translated into form and colour studies, which, rather than being sketches, are 3D models (her studio houses a collection of them). She crafts alone, though a Dutch carpenter makes the blocks out of leftover shipbuilding wood.
Passionate about quality, Dora sources carefully, ensuring her raw materials are environmentally friendly and sustainable. The leather she uses comes from a small tannery in Germany, and the wood is surplus from a local woodworker.
Blocks was her first “wearable” collection of jewellery and the process took her six months. Up until this point her designs had been conceptual, so she found this design process a challenge. The balancing act of creating something of high quality which represented the brand and which actually makes a profit was a task that she enjoyed.
Dora Kloppenburg’s necklaces are for those interested in art; those who recognise a well-made design and appreciate good quality. Reconfigure them to suit your mood and outfit.
Inspired by children’s play bricks, this stylish necklace is minimal and chic, adding a touch of organic brutalism to any look. Play with it on the move – the three blocks can be styled in different combinations. It comes in either zebrano or ebony, and a four block version is also available. Created from natural wood and handmade in Utrecht.
Ebony or Zebrano wood, gold or silver plated brass chain
Chain length 80cm, block 1.5cm