Laura Li

Chinese Lantern Earring

Class of: 2025

Major: Communication Design BFA

Medium: Acrylic, string, and metal

Faculty: Alaiyo Bradshaw

Prompt: Create a personalized bodily accessory for a client using the laser cutter machine and appropriate materials.

The original intent of this project was to design a wearable accessory for a client (classmate) using the laser lab. For better or worse, my client dropped out of the class early on, which meant that I was allowed to create an item of jewelry for myself. I had already drafted a sketch for my client so I decided to repurpose my design to my own liking. This project was inspired by the customs and aesthetics of the Chinese New Year which had just passed at the time. I wanted to create something 3 dimensional so I went with the design of a lantern. The color red holds great symbolism and significance in Chinese culture so the choice to use a red material was evident. Chinese lanterns are traditionally made with paper or wood but I wanted to make sure my design was durable so I decided to use opaque acrylic for its reflective surface. I also wanted to incorporate elements of traditional Chinese joinery so the final product is held together only with friction. No glue, tape, or adhesives were used. The lantern can be used as an earring as it is detachable or any other application.