Custom Vulva Art: In the Studio with Amalie Grauengaard of Coño Jewelry
Lessons and reflections from our visit to Coño Jewelry, where Amalie Grauengaard uses plaster casts of her clients’ vulvas to make the most beautiful — and the most intimate — jewelry a woman can own.
If you didn’t know what it took to make the feminine, one-of-a-kind pendant dangling from a delicate chain, you probably wouldn’t be able to guess. But it’s the vision and crafts(wo)manship of 26-year-old jewelry designer Amalie Grauengaard of Coño Jewelry, whose studio we visited to learn about the art of women celebrating the most intimate parts of their bodies — namely, the vulva.
My video queen Emma and I made our way to Amalie’s studio in the meatpacking district of Copenhagen, on a side street of a side street that seemed to become an alley behind a bunch of restaurants and butcher shops. It’s one of the last places you’d expect to see a sweet, smiling face belonging to a young woman in a fluffy, pastel sweater — but here we were. Amalie welcomed us in, and as Emma set up to film the interview, I had a look around…
Coño Jewelry is a jewelry project in which I try to create a conversation between the body and the bearer as the object of the jewelry.
The first thing one is greeted by when entering Amalie’s studio is the back wall, covered in over a hundred ceramic casts of vulvas lined and spaced in perfect geometry. From the distance of the door, you almost think you’re looking at an abstract installation of some sort; a bunch of identical teardrop-shaped stones in rows and columns. And I’ll admit to a bit of a surprise once my eye understood what exactly I was looking at, even though I knew what we were here to film; each cast actually represented an individual client, an individual session with Amalie, and an individual vulva.
The longer I looked at the wall and the pieces on it, the more powerful its message became to me. I’ve never met a woman who was 100% happy with 100% of her body, and the urge to disparage parts of our anatomy we deem less attractive (than what?) is never far off. But seeing so many different vulvas collected together — with as many different attributes, nuances and characteristics between them as snowflakes must have — made me instantly and keenly aware of the fact that comparing my… anything, and myself to anyone else is absolutely the biggest waste of time ever.
I was struck by how… right each of the pieces looked; absolutely unique from those surrounding it, but right in their own little space on the wall. And it occurred to me that the “imperfections” we so often find with ourselves are absolutely lost in the whole picture of who someone is, of what a body is. There’s a composition to each of us, and it makes perfect sense in its own context.
Standing in front of this wall in Amalie’s studio, I realized this is a place that poses a daring little hypothetical: What if everything about each of us makes perfect sense too?
There were several big take-aways from my time chatting with Amalie and looking at her work, but that might be the main one. That there’s no one like you, and that actually makes you more lovely, not less, just as you are. And it has the power to connect you to everyone around you, if you let it.