Dezeen Magazine

Skin Secret by I-Ting Ho

Flaps of dimpled silicone rubber are stitched together to form fleshy earrings, nipple brooches and sanitary pads in this jewellery collection by Taiwanese designer and recent graduate I-Ting Ho.

Skin Secret by I-Ting Ho

The Skin Secret collection is made from silicone rubber cast in a mould to look like dimpled skin before being sewn together or attached to metal parts to form each piece.

Skin Secret by I-Ting Ho

Among the collection is a pair of earrings with circles of skin dangling off black needles and a brooch covered in nipples.

Skin Secret by I-Ting Ho

There's also a necklace on a long chain, a mask that's held up like a mirror and a pair of glasses with skin acting as a blindfold.

Skin Secret by I-Ting Ho

I-Ting created imperfect, blemished skin to prompt feelings of fascination as well as disgust in the viewer. "I want to create a challenging situation, a conflicting dialogue with the audience," she explains. "People just cannot move their eyes away from those disgusting scenes that grab their attention."

Skin Secret by I-Ting Ho

The Taiwanese designer completed her MA at Birmingham City University's School of Jewellery this year.

Skin Secret by I-Ting Ho

Earlier this year we featured a collection of silk shrouds printed with faces and bodies to disguise the wearer as someone else.

Skin Secret by I-Ting Ho

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Here's some more information from the designer:

My work demonstrates a long journey of self-exploration. By peeling the skin layer by layer I get to the core of myself; I try to express what I explored and interpreted through my experiments in materials.

The feelings I want to achieve in my pieces are quirky, fantastical, and surreal. I focus on human skin, which is my main inspiration because it has many different and unique textures, several layers, and tells even some stories behind the scars and marks on its surface. “Skin Secret”, the title of my project, is about the “id” and “ego”. People usually use products or accessories to beautify themselves, or want to create an identity so that other people perceive them in a different way. Therefore, these possessions they hold or wear are like the “second skin”. Based on the main concept, I developed two bodies of work. The first one is constructed by using representations of body organs, which are reconstructed elements of organs and skin. While in the serial work, there are dialogues between people and daily objects; in this way, the creative work offers a thinking method to discuss human behaviors.

In my view, skin is soft but not as fragile as we think. Therefore, in “Skin Secret” one of the characteristics is juxtaposing the skin texture with metal structure, in order to create a conflicting image – hard and soft.


Skin, the largest organ on human body, spread on every corner outside to protect us; it is changeable, and has various unstable factors inside. I found these symptoms and some imperfect parts of skin, such as allergy, keloid, vitiligo, and other skin problems, by my own and other people’s experiences. These symptoms, especially allergy, did bother me every night since I came abroad. But once I looked at them closely, there was something attracted my attention. An idea came to my mind - to change the role of skin, recompose its definition, and challenge people’s thinking.


Self-awareness, one of the important human behaviours, reflects one’s personality. Based on this, people usually use objects to present their thinking, or taste. However, sometimes, people desire to build another personality with other items, or to strengthen their identity, especially for social reasons. In Buddhist’s philosophy, human body is just a skin shell, which is like a dressing of your mind. Therefore, in my explanation, all those apparels, accessories, make up, purses, shoes, and anything that could beautify people or improve their identity are the second skin to us.

While talking about the main element used in my project – skin, it is a debatable issue for most people since the point I focus on is about the imperfect skin, not as flawless as people desire to have. The reason why I choose this kind of blemish is want to create a challengeable situation, conflicting dialogue with the audience. People just cannot move their eyes away from those disgusting scenes that powerfully grab their attention. In the project, my work will not be viewed just like ordinary jewellery that is shiny or attractive, but will encourage people to think differently.


The focal point in my project is to use a different medium to convey some fantastic images that people usually want to ignore. Therefore, I focus on modeling, casting, and colouring. In the modeling production, having basic knowledge about the parting line, and how to set the modeled objects in a specific position are very important; while in the casting process, mixing with appropriate proportion of the chemical compound and experimenting with an accurate cure time are what needs to be the main focus; In addition, it took me a long time to get the colour I want, which looks real, and also pinky like a girl.