Published on July 26th, 2011 | by Becky Striepe1
Green Crafter: Bike Art
Crafter Sadie Sigford rescues discarded bicycle parts from her local bike shop and turns them into handmade treasures.
Sigford is a volunteer at the Duluth, Minnesota bicycly co-op, The Bike Cave Collective, and she noticed that many of the donated parts they were getting were pretty much unusable. Rather than let all of those chains, tubes, and gears head to the landfill, she used her crafty skills to transform them into super sweet accessories instead! Sigford says:
I started looking at our trash pile and thought we could do something else with it besides throwing it away. Originally I started, with other collective members, making art bikes and sculptures from old frames, but we didn’t always know what to do with the big pieces we’d made. I decided to start recycling our unusable parts into something a little more subtle, mostly earrings, bracelets, belts, and hair clips.
Sigford opted to make jewelry and accessories not only because it felt like a natural fit for the materials at hand, but because she saw a fundamental flaw in the mass-produced accessories you’d typically find at the big box store:
People buy jewelry all the time, and a lot of it has traveled the world, is poorly constructed, and is missing something about it that’s unique. My bike jewelry is made here at home and is charming. Many of the bicycle parts I use were made to be long lasting, and it’s scary to think how much of that is sitting in landfills taking thousands of years to decompose – if it does at all! Especially when it can be used in a new way.
Those durable components make her accessories durable, as well, so not only is Sigford upcycling bike parts that would have headed for the landfill, she’s creating jewelry and hair pieces that will last. She sells her bike-inspired creations in her Etsy shop, at a local salon, and at local art shows.