Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Penland Radical Jewelry Makeover: Part 1

A few days ago I returned from an amazing trip to Penland School of Crafts in North Carolina. While I was there I participated in the Radical Jewelry Makeover, a project where jewelry artists use donated materials to create new work which is then sold off to raise money for Ethical Metalsmiths, an organization that raises awareness about mining practices.

I am going to do a series of posts to show the process, but to begin with I wanted to share the work I did while there. 4 of the 6 pieces were donated to the sale. I spent the entire first 3 days working on a piece that I never finished! But I am happy with my final results.

All the work is made from donations to Radical Jewelry Makeover. The metals are either reclaimed, that is melted down and milled into new sheet and wire, or simply reused as is.

Marquis Trio Pendant



Reclaimed sterling silver, reused gold chain, reclaimed gold clasp, and plastic beads.
My original idea revolved around some lapiz beads that I wanted to cut down and tile, but when I tried to cut them down in the glass shop they came out too uneven. Then I found these pink plastic beads and voila. There is one odd tourmaline pink colored one set with gold prongs. They did not take a pic of the back but all the pins are riveted on the back. Florence Hardyman, a Penland saint and big collector of jewelry purchased this one at the sale.

Bug Brooch

This was the first piece I finished and just a bit of fun. The main body of it was a large pendant from a wood bead necklace. The wings are plastic with little gold plastic balls riveted in place with silver. In some spots the rivets attach the wings to the body. In the center is a countersunk glittery paste earring. The back has a two prong pin stem. Each eye is a found fake diamond earring, one with a teardrop and each has a gold sequin with it.

Shrouded Pendant


I really love how this one came out and almost bought it back. The pendant is just a large potmetal piece that I found. After talking with Mina Takahashi, who was teaching the paper class, she agreed to make me some sheets of translucent abaca paper. The paper was wrapped around and sealed with methyl cellulose. When it dries it tightens like a drum and you are left with this wonderfully mysterious shroud. I made the chain out of reclaimed sterling silver and 18k gold solder. I definitely plan on exploring this idea further, so stay tuned.

Paper Dipped Brooch

This brooch was simply dipped in pigmented abaca pulp. I just wanted to see what would happened and the results were pretty cool.

Sandpaper and Gold Brooch

One day my friend Erica purchased some sandpaper at the Penland store and I was struck by the luscious blackness of it. Mine is always sort of gray. I used a piece of steel that Paul (noformdesign) had sent me to frame it. Riveted it to a silver pin back (again, im sad i dont have a photo of the back) and riveted a gold earring in the center for contrast. Simple, but i like it. I got to keep this one.

Wedding/Engagement Ring

I ended up keeping this one as it got dented when it went flying due to a broken split mandrel and I didn't have the time to fix it. It is made of two found gold rings. One was a 14k gold prong set "diamond" ring and the other a tiny size 3 3/4 wedding band, also 14k. I turned the shank of the engagement ring inside out so the 14k is visible to the wearer (you cant see that in the photo) and used the wedding band as a sort of bezel on top. The CZ from the engagement band is set in the middle. I loved the idea of combining the wedding and engagement rings into one, but also making a new ring with a clear reference to the old rings.

2 comments:

~ Lora Hart Jewels ~ said...

Wow Nina! These are all soooo great. And very inspiring. I love how you were able to see all these parts in another way.

Valerie A. Heck said...

The Radical Jewelry Makeover sounds like a lot of fun! I especially love the bug brooch. What a great use of different materials.
Valerie