Spoon Bracelet from Recycled Materials

     I wanted to make a meaningful Christmas present for a younger family member.  My mother had given me my Grandmother’s  silver plate and  said that it would be OK if I made jewelry out of it.  I took two teaspoons and heated them until they were cherry red with my lamp working torch.  After letting them cool, I clamped them into a vise and sawed off the handles with my jeweler’s saw.  I filed off the rough edges and drilled holes in both ends of each handle.  I shaped the pieces with a rubber covered mallet and a form made to hammer out dents in cars.  Then I threw the handles in the pickle pot to clean off most of the fire scale.  Next, I used a wire brush attachment in my drill to clean off the rest of the dirt and shine them up.  I filed around the rough edges of the holes I’d drilled and went over the handles with steel wool before polishing them with muslin buffing wheel and rouge.

          I assembled the pieces with jump rings I’d made previously, and a lobster clasp.  When I don’t solder jump rings, I like to make them oval shaped with the cut on the side because they are stronger and less likely to pull apart which is important for a bracelet.  I was going to put a lamp-worked bead dangle on the front with a wrapped loop.  I ended up using the dangle you see in the picture-an  odd earring belonging to my mother. 

          I have a full set of my Grandmother’s silver plate and a ton of ideas for using it to make jewelry.  What about a ring or bracelet for my maternal girl cousins?  That’s a thought.  It would be a good way to share the silver plate with the family. 

          Yesterday, my Mother was telling me about the wonderful Christmas dinners  my Grandmother  cooked years ago.  I imagine they enjoyed more than one with the spoons I used on this bracelet.  I never knew my Grandmother.  The picture of her below must have been taken when she was 16  or so, which would make it circa 1900.

    

Emma Peterson Montgomery

 

 

 

Recycled Materials in Art

I make lampworked glass beads. This summer, I have been having  fun making beads from recycled glass I find on the street.  I use colbalt blue wine bottles and aqua colored Bombay Sapphire Gin bottles. Trash day is like a shopping spree only I don’t need any money! What could be better?

There is a rich tradition around the world of using recycled materials to make art. Most art from recycled materials comes from so-called Third World Countries. The patchwork quilt is the one we are most familiar with in the United States.   As we become more of a throw away society,  however, the recycled materials movement has found its way to our affluent shores.

Here are three links where you can find more art made from recycled materials. Happy dumpster diving!

Indigo Arts
Oakland Museum of California
Eco-Artware.Com