Friday, March 12, 2010

Fishing For Jewelry

One of my favorite things in the world is jewelry, probably second to books, and not just owning it, but creating, admiring and hunting for jewelry as well. When I was really young, I used to insist I was going to be a gemologist-- something an aunt reminded me of a couple years ago-- and gleaned everything I could learn from gem books, gem magazines and National Geographic specials.  

I can't get enough of jewelry, and I see creating jewelry as a major stress reliever,-- used to make it and then sell it through college-- but it isn't just because it sparkles or is expensive (which is what most guys think).  I love jewelry for the wonder that goes into creating them deep down in the earth, and then the skill and craftsmanship that goes into forming the gems, metal and jewelry. 

I grew up watching my daddy create beautiful things with his hands, and I have always had gotten a lot of pleasure out of creating things myself.  So lately, I Have been really wanting to make some jewelry of my own again, but my beading and implements supply is seriously depleted.  I have not restocked it in a long time, and I have made gifts for friends and family for two years in a row, without adding anything new.  

I am pretty much left with bits and parts from other projects.  So, I have gone fishing for parts.  One of the things I love to do is to take people's old jewelry, things they have discarded or no longer wear, tear them apart and make beautiful new pieces.  I know a lot of people on Etsy have fancy names for this, but I just call it making jewelry.

I keep looking at these jewelry making classes, that teach you how to weld and cast, and considering them, but my brother knows how to weld so I am hoping he can show me the basics on a super small scale.  For now though, I have been hitting the thrift, consignment, and resale stores like crazy.  I have found that the same piece goes for three times less in a resale shop as it does in a consignment shop.  

The other day the girls and I stopped in a consignment shop that had jewelry from Claire's that was more expensive than the retail price (tags still on with price marked).  Most days I just come across crap, but then there days were I hit the jackpot.  For now, I am looking, thinking up things in my head and collecting a little pile.  Some of the pieces I am finding, I am happy with the way they are now, and they totally can be used as is or added to something else.  

Here are three recent find, and I have to apologize for the quality because I was trying to do this on the scanner and I have not figured out how to improve the quality on the new one.  

This scan did not turn out nearly as good as the piece looks. It is a gold-tone pin in two different parts.  The inside piece is the largest and includes the petals and the center which is on a prong.  The outside piece is basically a thin metal cutout in the shape of petals that rests beneath the solid petals.  I love the open contrast and I think it would look great alone or as part of another piece.  Paid $1 for it.

This piece ended up being my favorite find in the last couple weeks because of all the detail that went into making a small pin.  There are actually four layers of interwoven, metal petals on this flower pin.  A tiny pearl is in the center and the final layer of petals are alternating between two separate discs. Paid about $1 for it. Love it!
The twins actually brought these home for me one day.  I have no clue were they got them or what they paid for them, but I love the look.  They are flower shaped silver earrings made from a single piece of twisted silver.  I wear them a lot, and of course, the twins are very happy to see me do so.  

I have so many more pieces that I have accumulated in the past week and plan on sharing, but these three are my most recent finds and I can't wait to get the pins matched up with an outfit.  

Does anyone else reuse old jewelery? Maybe, I will open another Etsy store one day and get cracking with things on there.

1 comment:

  1. I love to use old jewelry, but it is hard to find in thrift stores around here. My fav is turning broaches into the centerpieces of necklaces.

    Can't wait to see what you have up your sleeve!