Overlooked ‘street jewellery’

Manhole covers. Overlooked by so many, but so often their intricate patterns and history deserve a second life. And here they’re given one by a young artist Emma France for her tshirt and bag designs in this article.

Emma at work. Image © Emma France
Emma’s bag design. Image © The Guardian

Using an ink roller, each one is unique – and here she is at work:

Of course many other people have popularised these designs, notably and recently by Pentagram’s Marina Willer in her A1 book showcasing the designs of London’s manhole covers.

Image © The Partners

And London based designer Christian Küsters also has a range of badges and prints along a similar vein.

In fact, a book on this subject was published as early as 1869. More history and facts in this article about the ‘street jewellery’ on the FT.