Photo: necklace study using reclaimed packaging materials
My recent jewelry explorations reflect my growing concerns about global, local and personal environmental issues and how I can change my impact on them. I already recycle much of my household and studio waste, buy local and organic food as much as possible and buy local handmade gifts when I don't have the time to make something myself. My attention is now focusing on my jewelry and studio practices. As you have seen in the past few blog entries I have started making work with reclaimed/recycled materials using techniques that use less chemicals and the torch to reduce health hazards.
This new approach to jewelry has inspired me to offer a new 6 week course at Metalwerx in Waltham, Massachusetts this autumn titled, 'Reclaimed/Recycled Materials in Jewelry'. The course description is as follows:
As environmental awareness grows into a more urgent concern for our society, we are examining our impact on the natural environment as well as the impact on our health and personal environment more and more. As a result we are beginning to rethink how we approach everything we do in our lives to make our impact less wasteful, more sustainable and healthy. Our jewelry making practices should not be excluded.
Join Heather in an exciting six-week exploration joining reclaimed/recycled materials to create jewelry that is surprising, insightful, inspiring to lessen our impact on the environment. Let your imagination run wild and create daring jewelry with materials found either at home, at work, from walks in the woods or by the sea. Anything goes: packaging material from wine corks to plastic, worn out toys, twigs, bones, gun shells, wire from used spiral bound notebooks, twist ties from trash bags or drinking straws. The materials at your fingertips are endless! The next time you throw something away just ask yourself, "Can this be made into jewelry?"
Though much emphasis will be placed upon using reclaimed/recycled materials, using metal will not be discouraged but using scraps from your scrap box should be considered. We will discuss using a variety of handmade joining techniques such as rivets and jump rings as well as making bezels to frame unique found objects.
And at the end of the class students will have a bold new piece of jewelery that will generate much discussion about the importance of creativity in a time when creative thinking is needed most to save the environment.
For more information about Metalwerx and how to register for this class please visit their website.