“if you knew that a certain relationship will come to an end on a certain day of a certain year, would you value it more?” 

Web-designer turned artist / jewellery designer Paula Ortega asked this when talking about her recent project 'Footprints' which combines milk protein and precious metals. 

Ortega explores the idea that if an object has an end point would you value its time "alive" greater.

The wearable sculptures are made from a casein mix which is poured into a silicon mold (cast from a loofah skeleton) and left to dry for 70 days. She then applies a conductive ink to the parts of the jewellery she wants to apply the metal, and puts the plastic in an electroforming bath with copper or silver.

“I find that intriguing because with today’s environmental concerns, we should aim at creating things that do not leave a trace,” she explains. “Once the casein degrades, you will end up with a metal carcass, that can be remelted and used elsewhere, but the plastic will disappear.”