The transformation of paper into jewellery is a very slow process, with a somewhat "natural" quality to it for Janna Syvänoja. A technique that involves working with single sheets of paper, carefully curved around steel wire, in a sequence of repeated motions that slowly make the piece "grow", as may occur in the organic world, whereby elements build on to form different shapes, conferring a general "woody" character to the works. In a way, it seems to turn back to its origins. The print on the paper creates a pattern on the outside surface of the piece. The words contained on the paper, no longer legible, take on random forms, conferring additional expressiveness and a new hidden meaning. The paper used for her jewellery comes from newspapers and printed telephone directories that very quickly go out of date and are no longer of use. When Syvänoja started making jewellery, there was great recycling awareness that soon became an important social issue in Finland. It was at that time that she started to regenerate these useless heaps of paper by turning them into meaningful objects to adorn the body. In contrast, along with these man-made materials, Syvänoja also transforms natural materials such as seeds, eggshell and bark, into jewellery with the same poetic quality.
Janna Syvänoja was born in Finland in 1960. In 1993 she graduated from the University of Industrial Arts, Helsinki with a Master of Arts in Furniture and Interior Design. Her jewellery is featured in numerous public/private collections. A small selection are: Malmö Art Museum, Sweden; Helsinki Art Museum; International Museum of Applied Arts, Turin; American Craft Museum, N.Y.; Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe, Hamburg; Kunstgewerbemuseum, Berlin; Danish Museum of Decorative Art, Copenhagen; National Museum, Stockholm; Helen Drutt Collection; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Montreal Museum of Decorative Arts; Museum of Applied Arts, Helsinki, Mint Museum, North Carolina, USA. She has been awarded several prizes and grants for her work. Her works have been shown in exhibitions around the world and also at Collect 2007 and 2008 at the Victoria & Albert Museum.