As a varied artist and designer/maker, I like to work in a variety of media. Therefore, reclaimed materials are an important part of what I do, as I take inspiration from what I find.
I love using reclaimed materials in my work. The idea of giving new life to an old, unwanted piece of jewellery intrigues me. I take the bus up to Stourbridge and scour the charity shops for interesting old jewellery to repurpose into new.
These second-hand pieces have their own unique qualities, which bring something different to a new creation. The style that these old pieces of jewellery already have can inspire the style of new piece. For example, the original look of the second-hand beaded chain in these necklaces inspired the forms that the finished pieces eventually took:
My love of salvage means that you can expect to find reused chain, beads, and other found materials in many of my items (search "repurposed" in my shop for a few of those).
As well as salvaging jewellery for its aesthetic qualities, I am also interested in reusing materials for environmental reasons. I believe that reusing is the best form of recycling, as it is the best way to reduce waste. I feel that it is important to protect the environment by reusing and recycling wherever I can. The reusing of materials is something that I am committed to, not only in my work but also at home. Old sauce jars become containers for paintbrushes, old cereal boxes are cut up to become magazine files, old fruit containers become containers for craft supplies, the list goes on. I think the old adage of "Waste not, want not" is a great one to follow.
Posting the above in a couple of other blogs on Sunday made me want to do a bit of thrift shopping. So yesterday I popped into Stourbridge and bought a few things from the charity shops:
Earlier today I finished a necklace, which started life as the above bracelet. I took the bracelet apart, then put it together as one long chain:
I then added a beaded heart and vintage Lucite charms, and created this piece:
To hang from the thrifted steel chain, I created a beaded heart pendant from steel wire and emerald green glass beads. This heart measures 6cm (just under 2.5") high and is 5cm (2") high. The whole necklace measures 56cm (22") long, although it can be as short as you like, as the lobster clasp can be fastened through any of the chain's links. Find it for sale here.