Blotter Bracelet

Loy's design for blotter bracelet
Blotter Bracelet. Mina Loy Papers, Yale Collection of American Literature, Bienecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
“[B]lotting… accomplished without a waste of time by a mere ‘turn of the wrist’” 
                                                                                                           Jessica Burstein, Cold Modernism, 192.

In 1946, Loy invented the “Blotter Bracelet,” a labor-saving device designed to enhance the domains of utility and fashion. The above sketch displays the date and location of the drawing as well as a notarization, indicating that Loy went through various means to certify, authenticate, and patent her work. She also writes that the “idea [was] entrusted to [her]” by her daughter, Fabienne Lloyd (qtd by Burstein 192).

The bracelet consists of a C-shaped cuff attached to blotting paper, paper used for soaking up excess ink while writing. Blotting paper can also serve as a cosmetic aid that removes skin oils and makeup. Jessica Burstein points out that the device brings, with its dual function, “ornament to labor” and emphasizes an interesting relationship between decoration and work (Burstein 192). The Blotter Bracelet also reflects the growing social acceptance of the twentieth-century working woman– someone who would find this device particularly useful during the hustle and bustle of the workday. The affluent, nonworking lady would also find this bracelet practical as she sits in her parlor composing letters, making it a gadget for women from all walks of life. 

What can the Blotter Bracelet tell us about Loy? Not only does its design speak to Loy’s fascination with style, but it also highlights her interest in creating aesthetically appealing items that are efficient and provide immediate benefits. The creation of the Blotter Bracelet also reflects the idea that functional fashion items are timeless. One can see a modern rendering of Loy’s Blotter Bracelet in the form of charging bracelets — lightweight and sleek accessories that are capable of charging your mobile device on the go. With a similar shape as the Blotter Bracelet, the QBracelet (displayed below) offers various unisex bracelet options that merge technology and fashion in ways that make life easier and accentuate the user’s sophisticated, minimalist style.

gold bracelet with clasp
Phone Charging Bracelet. Image Source: uncommongoods