Saturday, 18 April 2015

Urban Magpie's recycled jewellery workshop

Until Claire from Our Handmade Collective asked me if I’d be interested in running a workshop, I’d never considered it before.  I suggested that maybe I could do an informal workshop on recycled jewellery making.

My jewellery making has always had at its heart the principle of recycling and upcycling the components of old and unloved jewellery.  I frequently use unlikely materials and found objects too.  In the past my jewellery has featured c18th clay pipes dug up on my allotment, plastic cake candle holders, rusty washers and even the blade disks from rotary mincers.

I'm often commissioned to incorporate personal heirlooms into new pieces of jewellery.  One of my favourites was to turn a friend's late mother's earring into a necklace she could treasure.  I take great satisfaction in rescuing all those odd earrings, lost beads and broken necklaces and giving them a new lease of life.

Surely other people must enjoy doing this kind of thing too.  But could I really 'teach' it?

In order to figure out how a workshop of this type would work, I decided to host an informal trial-run in my kitchen with a few friends.  We spent a very enjoyable evening of chatter, mindful activity and chilled-out creative inspiration.  It was a great way to test out the new tools I'd bought and refine the workshop format.  My friends enjoyed having the chance to get creative and try out different techniques, and everyone went home with truly personal finished pieces. 

Possibly the most ambitious project of the evening, was a ring constructed from driftwood and a scrap piece of copper co-axle wire.  

One of my friends created two cocktail rings from a pair of her late grandmother's clip-on earrings.  One to keep and one as a gift for her sister.

 Another made a stunning statement necklace from a collection of old charms and broken necklaces.

Feeling inspired?  Bookings are being taken now, for my first ever recycled jewellery making workshop on Sunday 26th April.  All you need to do is bring along your broken jewellery or vintage bits and bobs and I'll provide all the tools, findings and accessories you'll need to recycle your treasures into wonderful & wearable new jewellery.  The only limits are your imagination!

The workshop lasts 2 hours and the cost is £20 per person.  Tickets are available from Our Handmade Collective and The Bridal Emporium.  Check the FB event for more info.

I'll hopefully be running another in June too.