Reduce, recycle, reuse. I hear these words a great deal, maybe because I am totally immersed in the movement. I started recycling when I would have to lug a trunkful to any place that recycled. Luckily, today we have curbside pick-up. Speaking of curbsides, I do a curbside crawl on trash days looking for items people consider disposable. My son’s solid wood dresser is from one of my hunts. If I can’t use it, I donate it.
This habit of hunting for recyclables or items to repurpose has transferred to my art. My favorite sources are estate sales, resale stores, Etsy, and eBay. I also gather inspiration from my search. I consider my ventures to be of divine providence since I have no idea what I will find that will spark my imagination.
I look for metals in silver-plated trays, copper, brass, and colorful tins. I haven’t stumbled upon anyone with well-priced sterling but I keep my hopes up. I cut up these metal finds to create upcycled jewelry. I also search for pre-vinyl records, books, broken jewelry, belts, vintage wallpaper, and anything I can cut up, use for texture, put in resin or use as a tool.
The photo above is of a piece made from a cookie tin with some great designs and colors. The circular bracelet below was made from a belt and what used to be a copper vase. The cross piece is riveted onto a portion of a brass planter.
Jacky Sylvie with Hi Fi Jewelry brings her love of music to the world of upcycling with her fantastic necklace made from vinyl records. The records I use come from the early 1900s, before vinyl, and are much thicker. I picked up a batch from an estate sale thinking they were worth a bundle. No such luck. Somehow I decided to soften them in the oven and cut them with cookie cutters to create pendants. The one below is my favorite.
The metals I scour for are anything from trays and vases to brass planters. There are some silver plated pieces that are plated onto copper. I particularly remember large compote I found with a beautiful bird and flower design. I raced home to cut it while preserving the design. It will make a beautiful necklace for the Etsy Dallas Spring Bash in April.