Recycled Jewelry: Where Has Your Jewelry Been?

new.jpgAt the heart of the green crafting movement are artists using bizarre materials to make their crafts. I absolutely love making and wearing jewelry made out of unexpected materials. When has a gold heart necklace from the mall ever sparked a conversation in the way that a necklace made out of used car parts or broken plates has? You are sure to start some interesting dialog when wearing something from these three artists.

This ring is hand carved from a used number 11 pool ball…yes, a pool ball! How cool! Eleanor Salazar of PoolBallRings is an artist from Maine who can hand carve any color or number ball you like, in your size, and have it to you in two weeks. She even makes earrings. What a great gift for the pool shark in your life!

The 2ReVert shop asks, “Where has your Jewelry Been?” Being that these earring are made from used skateboards, one never knows what kind of trouble they got into in their last life. That is the best part about jewelry made from repurposed objects, the back-story (or perceived back-story) adds so much interest and personality to a piece.

Finally, Belcher from New York, has lots of ideas about what can be made out if used bike tires. This ring, for example, is a really simple use for the old rubber but the red and white stitching transforms it from old rubber tire to a decorative piece of jewelry. Be sure to check out his site to see the wallet too!

There is so much fantastic recycled jewelry out there, I could keep going all day! Please feel free to share your favorite recycled jewelry artists in a comment!

Written by Juliet Ames

Juliet Ames breaks plates for a living. A metals and craft major at Towson University, Ames went on to work for the Howard County Arts Council organizing gallery exhibits. Meanwhile, she kept up her own craftwork. The plate-breaking started with a mosaic mailbox. “There were leftover pieces, so I soldered them and wrapped them around my neck and got a lot of compliments,” says Ames, 28, who just had her first child, a boy.


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  1. You should check out Ethical Metalsmiths website- They have a lot of info about the problems with using metal and there are some galleries with differrent jewelry pieces (not all are recycled). They have had two Radical Jewelry Makeovers, I participated in the Lancaster one, where people donate old jewelry and students and professionals reuse the materials to make new pieces. It was really fun and it got me thinking about using different materials in my own work.

  2. I am always amazed at what people can find to make their jewellery out of.

    I make jewellery from reclaimed beads and vintage buttons, a bit like the Radical Jewelry Makeovers that Wendy mentioned in the comment above. It is so much more fun than using new beads and ending up with the same old stuff as everyone else.

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