I’m always fascinated by the idea of making jewelry from “junk” partially because my beading hobby can get a little expensive and partially because it seems like a creative way to help the planet.
I’m not sure how I haven’t discovered her before, but Amy Pfaffman’s stunning jewelry created from all sorts of regular recycled household objects is both professional and beautiful!
She manages to take things like old toothbrushes, colored pencils, simple glass, faucet nobs and even the little glass eyes from stuffed animals and make some amazingly clever and unique pieces! Some of her materials are new, some are old, but they all come together in ways you would never expect.
I’m totally jazzed by how great her pieces look! She’s even done some neat things like used pasta and coffee beans as molds for silver jewelry. Amy’s website says that she has a degree in industrial design, and, wow, does she know how to use it! 🙂
If you look at her pieces you see that many of the methods used to build them are also the basic skills needed for creating bead jewelry at home. She uses some basic wirework and works with sterling silver and chain for the most part but the way she puts these simple objects together creates a dazzling piece that belies the inherent simplicity.
You can visit her website to see a lot of great designs she’s put together, but you can also find a lot of her pieces in various museums and stores all over the country.
Discovery of Ancient Shell Bead Jewelry
Ancient Seashell Beads
Michelle, one of my regular readers, sent me a link to an article about a recent discovery of ancient shell beads from Israel. They don’t look like much, but they’re pretty important. While we know that humans have been creating and wearing all sorts of jewelry for thousands of years, I never thought about how significant it really is.
Making and wearing jewelry means that you are not just interested in yourself, but also in how others see and perceive you.
So, really, the fact that humans started creating symbolic art out of beaded seashell jewelry is a sign that we were thinking on a much higher cultural level than the other animals around the area. (Have you ever seen a dog make it’s own jewelry? LOL!) The article goes on to explain how symbolic thinking is key to language and art and even forming a modern cultural society!
And to think it all may have started with humans making bead jewelry!