Meet the Winnipeg Designer Who Upcycles Vending Machines into Jewellery —

Lisa Pointon-Reico on sourcing recycled materials and the museums that inspire her designs.

Lisa Pointon-Reico is not one to shy away from a pop of colour or a bold pattern. (Take a look at the unique pieces she packs in her carry-on, here.) Co-founder of the eco-friendly jewellery brand dconstruct, she designs statement earrings, bangles, rings and more using recycled resin and concrete. When she’s not on the road, visiting museums like the Guggenheim and the Art Gallery of Ontario (which both carry dconstruct jewellery) or mingling with artisans at Toronto’s One of a Kind Show, Pointon-Reico is putting the finishing touches on handmade pieces at the brand’s boutique in Winnipeg’s Forks Market.

enRoute What motivated you to launch dconstruct?

Lisa Pointon-Reico I have always been interested in fashion and design, but when my husband and I started making jewellery, it was just a hobby. We both had full-time jobs; I was an orthodontic assistant and he worked as a software developer. But the funny thing is, both of our skills totally help us with what we do now – all the pliers you use in orthodontics are the same pliers you use in jewellery making, and my husband’s software-developer skills mean he does all of our Web stuff and programs our CNC machine, which we use to cut a lot of our resin on.

ER Where do you source your materials from?

LPR The recycled resin in all of our jewellery comes from industrial off-cuts such as vending machine covers and skylights. Rather than get thrown away, this resin is melted down again and sold in sheets to be repurposed as wall panelling – or in our case, jewellery.

ER Tell us about your wild-silk collection.

LPR A few years ago, we were approached by an insectologist from Harvard University who founded the NGO Conservation through Poverty Alleviation, International. Basically, she teaches artist communities in Madagascar how to farm silkworms, hand-dye the discarded cocoons and sew them together to create a textile. We support the communities by purchasing these beautiful works of art and encasing them in resin to give colour and texture to our wild-silk pieces.

ER Why do you think more companies don’t use recycled materials?

LPR I think a lot of businesses don’t know where to start. In general, there has to be more information out there, maybe even intro programs to help businesses figure out how they can make their companies more eco-friendly. We work with the recycled resin, but we still have a long way to go ourselves. It’s a constant learning process.

ER What inspires your designs?

LPR A lot of our inspiration comes from the simple, clean lines of architecture, or just experimenting with new materials. Whenever we travel, my husband and I make a point to check out the local museums. We go to New York a few times a year, and MoMA inspires many of our shapes and designs. At home, I’m drawn to the design of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Often, it’s not entire structures but rather a specific colour or the distinct line of a building that sparks an idea for our next collection.
 

Lisa Pointon-Reico’s top spots in Winnipeg for…

... a night out I highly recommend Segovia, a tapas bar with an ever-changing menu.

... a spark of inspiration I spend a lot of time in museums, the Winnipeg Art Gallery or exploring the historic Exchange District.

... a cup of coffee Fools & Horses and Parlour Coffee are my top picks, both for the atmosphere and the brew.

... the best view My favourite place to be is in the Forks, looking out at the rivers.

August 28, 2019

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