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How BirdQueen Designs Turns Shrinky Dinks Into Wearable Art

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All images credit: BirdQueen Designs/Gretchen Diehl

You've probably spotted BirdQueen Design's plastic jewelry on display at boutiques all throughout the area (stockists include Arcadia, Tselaine, and VIX Emporium, to name a few), and for good reason: The idea behind the line is nothing short of genius. Jewelry designer Gretchen Diehl renders each illustration by hand, scans and prints the image onto ink jet shrink film (remember Shrinky Dinks?), and then bakes the design, which shrinks to become lightweight, durable wearable art.

As for upcoming projects, Diehl (who earned her MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts) has a few things in the works: "My dream for the next few years is to get a little knitwear line going," she says. "I'm ordering fabric printed with my own designs, and I think I will start by making simple scarves, then maybe graduate to tunics and stuff like that." In the photos above, Diehl tells us which BirdQueen pieces are her most popular and the inspiration behind some of her favorite designs.
· BirdQueen Designs [Official Site]

Arcadia

819 N 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123 (215) 667-8099 Visit Website

Tselaine

1927 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 301-4752 Visit Website