I have been feeling particularly uninspired lately on the old jewelry front. I seemed to hit a rut when designing my spec pieces. Whenever I design for my own personal collection, I get tons of complements–but my inventory collection was feeling uninspired. While juggling the needs for meeting a particular price point, efficiency of construction, and marketability, I lost sight of the overall design.
While cleaning out my numerous jewelry boxes the other day, I kept coming across pieces of jewelry that I no longer wear. Little trinkets given as gifts throughout the years–a bracelet given to me by my parents on Valentine’s Day when I was fifteen, another given by my Grandmother Applegate when I graduated from high school, a little gold plated locket given to me by my other Grandma. Such a shame to have these pieces take up a place in my heart, but not in my life.
I also inherited a few costume pieces throughout the years from various relatives. “Waste Not Want Not” echoes resoundingly in my brain every time I even consider getting rid of possible treasures. So, I decided to take these disparate items and make new beloved pieces. I want to take old sentimental pieces and create new heirlooms out of them. I have been doing this for years with my mosaics. Someone will give me the last remaining chipped piece of their grandmother’s china, and I will create a new wall hanging or mirror with it.
This is hardly a new or revolutionary idea. A quick glance at Amazon.com will find at least ten books on the subject of remaking old jewelry into new. This isn’t meant to be an instructional blog, but rather, a chance to explore what the individual pieces mean to me, and what I was aiming for in the design of the piece. As jewelry designers, we rarely get a chance to present an artist statement for our work. Mostly, the consumer just wants to know it matches their outfit and makes them feel good about themselves when they wear it.