Ai Weiwei's first jewellery collection is cut from a rod of gold rebar

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei has partnered with a London jewellery gallery to create "wearable sculptures" designed to look like reinforcing bars used in construction (+ slideshow).

Gold jewellery by Ai Wei Wei at the London jewellery gallery, Elisabetta Cipriani

The pieces recall Weiwei's installation Straight (2008 - 2012), which featured piles of steel reinforcing bars purchased from scrapyards after the Wenchuan earthquake in China.

Gold jewellery by Ai Wei Wei at the London jewellery gallery, Elisabetta Cipriani

Weiwei's studio laboriously straightened each rod and stacked them one top of another, to draw attention to deaths that were the result of poor construction.

His Rebar in Gold bracelets created with the Elisabetta Cipriani gallery come in three lengths, and feature the ridged texture that distinguishes metal reinforcing rods. The artist cut each piece from a single gold rebar, and bent them to be wrapped around the arm.

Gold jewellery by Ai Wei Wei at the London jewellery gallery, Elisabetta Cipriani

The pieces are described as "wearable sculptures" by the gallery, which specialises in jewellery by contemporary artists. Due to the metal's softness the wearer can adjust them further to be worn around their finger, wrist or neck, depending on the size of the piece.

According to the gallery, Weiwei selected gold as a material that would clearly contrast with the destruction of the earthquake, while serving as a "delicate memorial" to the life lost during the disaster.

Gold jewellery by Ai Wei Wei at the London jewellery gallery, Elisabetta Cipriani

The pieces are on display at the Elisabetta Cipriani gallery in two house-shaped cabinets also designed by the artist, and made from glass and huali – a wood often used in traditional Chinese furniture.

Weiwei was in the news recently after an altercation with Lego, which had refused to provide the artist with bricks for a new political artwork. He has has since set up collection points to receive the many donations he's received since publicising the disagreement.

Gold jewellery by Ai Wei Wei at the London jewellery gallery, Elisabetta Cipriani

The Rebar in gold exhibition opens on 12 November 2015 and continues until 16 January 2016.

Gold jewellery by Ai Wei Wei at the London jewellery gallery, Elisabetta Cipriani

Polish designer Ewa Sliwinska also wrapped wearers in jewellery, with sculptural arm and leg pieces constructed from PVC strips that resembled porcupine spines.

Other jewellery covered by Dezeen includes Ashley Heather's pieces created from reclaimed circuit board silver, and body adornments shaped like stove pipes.

Photography is by Riccardo Abate.