Thursday, October 7, 2010

The concept of "Upcycling"

One of my favorite things to do in my jewelry design is to use things that need new life. Many people use the word "recycling" or "upcycling" to describe this method of taking something that is used and repurposing it into something new. I love this concept. It is good for the environment and allows for creative expression through everyday items. Here are some examples of things I have used in pieces I consider "upcycled".

Bottle Cap pendant GRAB BAG- Fun and colorful resin pendants
1.) Old bottle caps and pop tabs.
I really enjoy taking old bottle caps and turning them into interesting jewelry pieces as well as magnets and coasters.  I myself use resin and confetti or other "found objects" to do this.  I have seen other artists simply use paper print out and glue.  The sky is really the limit. 
I have also seen other artists, such as Cindy's Creative Crochet, using pop tabs to create new and fun
accessories. Pop tab wallets - custom orders

2.) Vintage costume jewelry bits and pieces.
This is hands down my very favorite kind of thing to upcycle.  I love to buy and use old vintage costume jewelry pieces in my newer designs.  For example, this sim
ple bracelet Vintage milk glass with czech glass beaded bracelet~ small, 8.5 was made by taking this old vintage milk glass neck
RESERVED - divapixie - Milky Rounds with a Wink - Vintage Milkglass and Rhinestone Necklace for Rescue or Bead Harvest

and adding in czech glass beads and findings in my normal stock.  Lovely, simple and upcycled.  I've done LOTS of pieces like this and
they are some of my best sellers.

Steampunk GRAB BAG- Resin pendant and watch parts gallore!
3.) Sea shells, watch parts and other "found objects" available.  Anything you can find in your everyday surroundings is considered a "found object".  I've seen LOTS of creative ideas with this concept.  I myself have used pressed flowers, watch parts, microwave parts, computer mother boards, confetti, catalogue and magainze cut outs, cigar bands and so much more to create unique and unusual jewelry pieces, magnets and coasters.  There is really no limit to what a person can do with found objects.  A friend of mine in an art class once used a large clam shell she had.  She actually punch some holes in it and placed rivets in the holes!  It was an amazing piece and a stunning idea. 
So, whatever you choose to recycle or "upcycle", be it old clothing, vintage pictures, pop cans, bottles... have fun with it!  Everything has the potential for creative rebirth in the right hands!


Angelique said...

I love upcycling/repurposing. Great creations!

Victoria said...

Nice, I always look for shops that do upcycling, I like that word, thanks. Maybe we can come up with a really creative word to identify upcycling, recycled, repurposed, such as unibob jewelry, cothing, etc :)

divapixie said...

It would be nice to have some kind of fashion word for the movement that upcycling has created. Not sure what word would be fitting though.... hmmmmm.... something to ponder.

RLS Design said...

I haven't ever really gotten into upcycling, but you have some very innovative pieces! Looking forward to more great things!