Sunday, May 3, 2009

Recycled Art

Hand in Hand, a local gallery owned by husband and wife team David Voorhees and Molly Sharp (he's a ceramicist, she's a silversmith and jeweler) is hosting an exhibit and sale called "Eco Art: Artists Respond -- Reclaim, Reuse, Recreate". I'm proud to be entering several pieces in it, both jewelry and journals.

I'm att. photos of the necklaces I made yesterday.

The first is entitled Dance of Words. I woke up Friday morning with the image in my head of the necklace (what a gift!). However, try as I might, I couldn't find the yellow metal "pencil-holder-thingy", which was very frustrating. Do you remember these? I don't know if they were pencil holders or pencil protectors, but I remember seeing one looooooong ago at my grandparents' home. They are metal with a design on them (probably souveniers from the 40s or so) and it held a pencil that you could slip into the bottom "barrel" part, and the top with an eraser built into the end slid on top to protect the point, much like a pen. I bought this yellow top depicting a "natural bridge in VA" in a pile of oddities from Smiley's Flea Market several years ago, but never quite knew what to do with it... until Friday morning... then I couldn't find it! *sigh* The Muse was laughing. Last night, I decided to ask Her to help me find it (and to sleep on it again), and within 5 minutes of looking after waking up Saturday morning, I found it! Hooray!

It is composed of old writing instruments. The "pencil-holder-thingy" has a page from a vintage dictionary inserted in it that is folded and rolled, upon which I have written:

I love words. I find irresistible their origins, their meanings, their similarities, and their differences, even their appearance. I relish reading and cherish crafting a well-written passage. I especially enjoy playing with words. I am passionate about puns. I want my epitaph to read, "She finally came to her wit's end."

There is also an OLD Parker fountain pen red ink cartridge (from my mom), vintage pen nibs, gold vintage faceted crystals from one of my great-aunt Weah's old necklaces (to symbolize the richness of language), red handmade glass beads (to represent passion), words from a vintage dictionary, gold hexagonal vintage chandeliers crystals (with "noun" and "verb" adhered to the back), paper beads rolled from the dictionary pages, glass beads, mother of pearl, amber, and miscellaneous copper chains. I am so pleased with it!

Next, I created another necklace that has been on my mind for a few months. When I was laid off from my job in January, I knew that "When a door closes, a window opens." I have a box full of old brass window sash escutcheons my dad bought from a hardware store that was closing back in the 60s or 70s, (see, I'm not the only pack-rat in the family! My mom and dad taught me well!) and I knew I wanted to use those with this idea in mind. So I searched through vintage books for the words "When a door closes, a window opens", set them in the escutcheon with resin, then drilled holes for the charms. I searched on Google Images for pics of doorways and open windows from all over the world and sandwiched them (front and back) with mica. The beads are handmade lampwork beads that I'm not going to use for my finer necklaces, but they're perfect for this!

Man, I love creating art! It just makes me so happy!

I hope you do something that makes you happy today.



  1. Kate-
    absolutely totally cool and awesome necklace! Brilliant reusing of materials my dear! I too love words, and appreciate your artistic approach to them. I also lost my job last May, and am in a sketchy situation with the job I'm at now, so I really appreciate your reminder about one door closing and another opportunity opening. Sometimes that is hard to remember. But it looks live you have made wonderful artistic use of your opportunity! Thanks for sharing. Susan

  2. I am a fan of old writing instruments myself, so I love the necklace. I especially love the "yellow pencil thingy".. I've never seen one. Great work!
    Pat in KY

  3. These are very interesting pieeces. I especially like what you did with the first one, Dance of words. They look like they would be fun to wear.

  4. I feel as you do..Creating makes me happy! You should be happy! Those are two of the most creative pieces i've seen! I love them! The way you put everything together is wonderful! Thanks for sharing your talent. HUGS

  5. what beautiful, clever pieces of art! love that you recycled/upcycled pieces for them too.

  6. LOVE your work Kate!
    Did you read my (Jan) email to you?
    It's that door open/close thing! lol
    Looking forward to seeing you!

    PS Our class blog is:

  7. Lovely work, well done!
    Just thought I'd leave a note to tell you about us...Mzuribeads is an ethical business who have been individually hand rolling recycled paper beads in the village of Ndejje in Uganda for over two years. I would like everyone interested in fair trade beads, or the art of rolling paper beads to visit our website, where you can locate a stockist near you or goto our online shop to buy our loose paper beads and paper bead jewellery. Thank you.