Posts tagged "jewellery"

Recycling old television wires into bags and jewellery

bags.jpgYesterday I was at the Recycle Into Art thing in Liverpool that I’ve been going on about for ages. Led by Alison Bailey Smith, it was a workshop to show us how to turn old waste wire – mostly from old televisions – into jewellery and bags.

Alison started off by showing us her favourite knotting technique but I kept forgetting how to do it mid-knot so ended up knitting a section of copper-coloured wire instead. While I slogged away at that, Alison showed us a number of other techniques including making coils from scrap plastic/foil (from sweet bags, carriers or anything really) wrapped in wire, twisting strands of wire together evenly using a hand drill and working with coaxial cable, sheathing and other scrap metals (Alison frequently uses tomato puree tubes – which are gold coloured on the inside – and the silver insides of toothpaste tubes for backing pieces).

jeff_meteorite.jpgThe session was well attended – with about 10 of us around the main table – and we all brought our own ideas and other craft techniques to the party so learnt as much from each other as from Alison. With my knitted base, I played with a number of ideas for the focal piece of my bag but in the end, decided to use two small toy dinosaurs I’d brought along (Jeff and Zach) and a deadly meteorite made out of more of the copper-coloured wire and the lime green handles of a M&S carrier bag.

Given the time frame of the class, most people focused on making smaller things – jewellery or items with broach pin backs so they could be used as decorations on clothes or on bags (Alison was wearing one of her broaches as a necklace pendant; the one below was made by someone in the workshop). In hindsight I guess I should have done this too because I spent a long time knitting when I can do that at home ;) Still, it was a great workshop and while I perhaps didn’t do as many varied elements as some people, I feel I’ve got the knowledge to go it alone now – and certainly will go for it ;)

hair-clip.jpgThanks so much to Alison for running the workshop and providing all the materials. Thanks are also due to Red Dot Exhibitions for organising it and all the other (free!) workshops this week – I just wish I’d been able to get over for more of them…

(More photos to follow when I get myself organised ;) )

Turning old wires into jewellery and wearable art

Alison’s basketAlison Bailey Smith has posted a couple of messages around the site recently about the things she makes out of old wires – culled from old televisions and the like – and they’re so fab, I thought they needed featuring a bit more prominently than buried in the comments section.

Alison has been repurposing old wires to make “jewellery and other wearable art” since 1988 and has made some truly gorgeous items. One of my favourite things is the blue hat, which is made from television wire and coffee bag wrappers, and I also love the beautifully shaped data cable basket and jewellery, including the bangle below.

I’ve made various bits of jewellery out of old wires (as we’re both geeky and hoarders, we’ve got loads of random dodgy cables lying around) but all my efforts have been a lot chunkier and plainer – Alison’s work has inspired me to keep at it with the hope that one day I’ll be able to make something as pretty and delicate as her items. But she also takes commissions so if you like something but don’t fancy giving it a go yourself, you should get in touch with her :)

alison’s hat and bangle

How can I make something to display jewellery out of recycled things?

Right, another one in our new Reverse Recycle This series: how can I make something out of recycled stuff?

I’ve got a lot of costume jewellery because it’s really easy & fun to make and/or find going unbelievably cheap in charity shops (one of my favourite necklaces cost 10p – ace!).

At the moment it’s all dumped on the top shelf of a three-shelf unit we’ve got in the bedroom but necklaces and floppy bracelets frequently get tangled up and I can’t see what all my options are whenever I’m having an accessorising crisis (usually happening about 15 minutes after we should have left). Some of the necklaces particularly are really quite pretty too, so it’s a shame for them to be in an untidy heap.

I thought about making a wall hanging – with some cool flock-style fabric I found in a scrap-material bin a few years ago – but didn’t know how I would be best to go about this. I imagine cup hooks or something – but would have to find really big, ugly ones for my solid ’80s style bangles.

So any suggestions on how I can make something to display/tidy up the jewellery, using recycled/reused things from around the home etc, that’ll look pretty or cool enough to be in a fairly focal point of our bedroom?

Recycling junk into jewellery

necklace made from old keysFollowing on from Tuesday’s post about recycling old jewellery, I’ve had an email from Jane Eldershaw about recycling junk to make new jewellery.

Jane loves making jewellery out of junk and found items – and has even written a book about her creations.

I love this type of stuff – and not just because it justifies me keeping loads of random little things to turn into jewellery or whatever one day. I think my favourite piece of Jane’s is the yellow peg necklace below and the more delicate key chain above – but the pencil necklace is very fun too. I’ve only featured necklaces here but Jane also makes bracelets, earrings and all sorts of things so if you’re interested, check out her site –

necklaces made from old junk

Recycling old jewellery for charity

gold locket necklaceJust an information post about a new campaign by Marie Curie Cancer Care:

I am writing to ask whether you would be interested in supporting Marie Curie Cancer Care during our diamond anniversary year. The charity provides high quality nursing, totally free, to give people with terminal cancer and other illnesses the choice of dying at home, supported by their families.

The charity was founded 60 years ago with the donation of a diamond engagement ring. Given that 2008 is our diamond anniversary, it seemed the perfect time to launch a jewellery recycling scheme.

The recycling scheme is straightforward. We are asking the general public to donate unwanted jewellery. Anything is acceptable – damaged pieces, odd ear rings, stopped watches, snapped chains, costume jewellery or the real stuff.

All the donations are processed by a professional recycling company. They hand sort every donation and either sell on the valuable pieces, or break-up/melt-down damaged items, and the residue is sold to a specialist scrap merchant.

The income generated will go towards paying for more Marie Curie nursing hours.

There are collection boxes in Laura Ashley and Marie Curie stores, but within the UK, you can also send donations direct to a free post address:

Marie Curie Cancer Care
Central Recycling

(Photo by angood)