Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Green Art

I’m an artist and for the past few years my art-of-choice has been jewelry design. Since I started my blog, I’ve been playing around with the idea of how to make my business greener, my jewelry say, “I care about the environment”. I wanted to show that you can have wonderful, beautiful things that are eco friendly. That "new" doesn't always mean "better". Then I got an invitation to participate in the Pleasanton Green Scene, a local environmental fair. This seemed like the perfect excuse and opportunity to try working with recycled, re-purposed and scrap materials.

Sunday comics beads

My goal was to create a simple line of upscale jewelry, made from trash. I planned to use discarded (cleaned!) soda cans, plastic bottles, old clothes (also, cleaned!), recycled glass beads and newspapers to make wearable art in the same style as my traditional pieces. Then I scoured the internet for ideas and to see if people had already tried my ideas. I didn’t find nearly as much as I expected, but it was fun to see what other people are doing.

Recycled bottle glass
I was able to purchase recycled bottle glass beads, but the majority of what I needed – all of the paper and plastic beads-I had to make by hand, one at a time. I tried to use reclaimed materials whenever possible, though I still had to use some new metals and stringing wires. For some items I used hemp cord, which is new, but sustainable. I guess my new jewelry is something like 98% post consumer waste.

Recycled plastic bottle beads
& recycled glass
I’ve really enjoyed experimenting with the new materials. Since I got the green fair invite I’ve made a whole line of seriously upcycled jewelry, like pop can earrings, recycled glass wire wrap, plastic bottle bracelets, newspaper necklaces and a lot more. Sounds like a bunch of junk! Well, I guess it is…or was.

Paper, hemp & recycled glass

City of Pleasanton 2nd Annual Green Scene
Thursday, October 6, 2011
400 Rosewood Drive, Pleasanton, CA 94588 
10:30 am – 1:30 pm 

“Tikkun Olam” means, in its most basic form, repairing the world. It is an ancient term from long before we worried about carbon emissions or mercury in our fish. It promotes the idea that we are the stewards of our planet and we that must be constant and vigilant in our responsibility. And not only must we take care of the Earth and seas and creatures, but we have to fix what is broken. And this is our job for as long as we are on this planet.