Tag Archives: recycled jewellery

National Recycling Week-12th November

Reduce, re-use and recycle. The modern day mantra to save the planet as best we can from the shocking perils of humans living and consuming stuff. Recycling, in general, has some fairly depressing stats about its effectiveness, so reduction is definitely the way forward. We may all be doing the best we can to keep our earthly footprints lighter nowadays but that doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our adornments. Many an ingenious jeweller can help us manage our conscience by being conscientiously conscious in the use of materials. So you can wear your awareness with your jewellery in the form of re-purposed pieces.

Bottle lids are the tops from Balenciaga this autumn. They may be using fancier materials than the humble container top, but this would keep this statement light on the lobes. Why not try your own version to keep it light on the pocket.

These lovelies from Misa Gelin at little anvil studios maybe everything and the kitchen sink in terms of style, which is good because that’s what they are made of, so delicate and cool but without the heavy burden of placing demand on new resources.

Yellow Submarine

Yellow Submarine, upcycled kitchen sink with silver findings, handmade for the consumer who wants to make an impact with their style not their substances.

Eco Blue Earrings

Guilt-free beauties, Eco Blue Earrings, reused materials made for a modern look.

E-Waste jewellery

Marcela Godoy makes the most of her wires in her e-waste project. The prolific architect, educator and interaction designer has many strings to her bow, from rapid design prototyping to creative computer coding with some projects resulting in wearables.

She encourages others to get a wireless connection and make their own e-waste jewellery necklace with online tutorials.

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Boxing clever, cardboard has never looked so elegant.

Recent Central St.Martins graduate Matilde Mozzanega’s beautiful collections look at sustainability and recycling. Creating natural looking objects from industrial cardboard. Pebble-like forms are shot with silver to give the game away but not the glamour.

thumbnail_stone earring

There are so many ways to be creative with pre-loved materials. So get scrappy with your scrap and learn how to recycle your silver jewellery by learning water casting or offcuts or connect without solder to bring found objects a new life on one of our courses.

 

Recycling your jewellery

Spring is finally here and the bright light flowing into our homes has set some of us to spring cleaning and a general clear out.

However, if you have magpie tendencies like many of the London Jewellery School team, you may find it difficult to throw away broken jewellery or indeed anything pretty. So we’ve gathered some inspirations for recycling jewellery, in the hope we won’t all glance sadly into the same box of broken bits when next year’s spring clear out comes round.

Broken necklaces and bracelets offer great opportunities for recycling, have a think about how you might restring them. Tutor Anna Campbell created this necklace from a broken bracelet and some stash beads – you can read more about what she did here.

 

Lonely odd earrings and other bits and bobs can be used to create fun charm bracelets like this one by Andrea Singarella. Our upcycle your jewellery taster class can help with this and other ideas.

 

Or use odd stud or vintage clip earrings to create quirky cocktail rings using Craft Unleashed’s tutorial.

 

Think too about combining your scrap jewellery with lovely left over fabric. For inspirations take a look at the beautiful vintage brooch and fabric bouquets created by LJS tutor Gail Florio

 

Or combine fabric, such as part of a torn silk scarf, with beads and odd earrings for a new take on a charm bracelet like this one by Sharon Conetta Vitale

 

It’s not just beaded jewellery and vintage oddments that you can makeover, Unwanted silver (and other metals) can be melted down and recycled. London Jewellery School has a class on Recycling Silver if you want to find out more.

 

 

Try our recycled jewellery challenge

London Jewellery School tutor Anna Campbell says it’s time to breathe new life into your unworn jewellery.

Hands up if one of your favourite hobbies is buying jewellery supplies?

Just as I thought!

Whether it’s a trip around the bead shop or a splurge online we all love the excitement of the new. But this weekend, we challenge you to think differently and use what you already have.

Everyone has a box or a drawer of jewellery that they just don’t wear. Maybe pieces that you’ve bought, maybe things that have been given to you or things you made yourself. I have a box that has some old bracelets in. When I started this project I realised I hadn’t opened the box for ages.

In the box I found this bracelet.

recycling jewellery

Before: a stretched bracelet

It’s just a high street piece but I wore it a lot a few years ago. However, as you can see, the elastic was stretched out of shape and it was no longer wearable. So in the box it remained. Until now.

I cut the elastic and had a look at the beads to see what I could make with them. It’s useful to do this before deciding. Sometimes just the fact that it is a bracelet stops you from thinking about the beads and components differently.
After playing about with some ideas I decided to make a short choker style necklace from it.

recycling jewellery

After: a glamorous choker

I added some beads I already had in my stash (oh go on then, the additional beads are blue miracle beads from Beadworks). I used two strands of tiger tail to go through the centre beads. The two strands then go through the individual beads to the ends.
I’m really pleased with my piece. It is simple but it has breathed new life into something that I could not wear before.

So why not set yourself the challenge to make at least one new piece out of something old. You can add in some beads and findings that you already have but try to resist buying anything new for this project.

We’d love to see what you make. Tweet us on @jewelleryschool or post on our Facebook page  with photos of your jewellery before and the finished piece.

And if you need some expert help and inspiration why not attend our Upcycle Your Jewellery taster class.

Here is a before and after from our most recent upcycle your jewellery class.

recyling jewellery

Before: some earrings that the student brought along

recycling jewellery

After: she used the earrings to make a beaded charm bracelet

Anna Campbell is an experienced teacher and enjoys all types of jewellery making including beading and silver clay. She runs her own business, Light Boat Jewellery and has made jewellery for celebrities.

How Katie built her unique bike jewellery brand

For the London Jewellery School team, one of the best things is watching former students progress in the jewellery industry. Today we catch up with former Jewellery Business Bootcamp student Katie Wallace of Katie’s Bike.

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Bike chain rings with sugru

How did you get into jewellery making?
I started making jewellery when I was little – I can’t even remember how young, but when I was 10 I took my bead collection into school for ‘hobby day’. It was pretty impressive even then, if I do say so myself.

My first year of university I got some insurance money and decided to start a jewellery business. I bought a whole bunch of supplies and tools. I also took a silversmithing course on a study abroad program in Italy and loved it. But in terms of my business I had no real training or focus and studying architecture full time got in the way.

So 9 years and two degrees later I’m having another go.

Tell us about your business
I make and sell jewellery made from used bicycle chains. It may sound a bit hard core and industrial but actually they’re fun and quite chic. The business is built upon three core pillars: stylish and beSpoke (ha!) design, reCycling (double ha!), and engaging the cycling community. I think I’m more of a design and sustainability nut than I am a mad cyclist, but I do love my bike and it’s my main mode of transportation.

Chain bike link earrings

Chain bike link earrings

I’m still figuring out my core customer base – working local markets has helped a lot as I get to interact with customers. It’s also really nice to see the “wow” reactions. But for now I’d say my jewellery is for ladies and gents who like to work hard, play hard. It’s a bit edgy but also classy. I’ve sold a lot to ladies of my Mom’s generation, as well as the cool teens and their next gen 30-something farmers market frequenters. Great for cyclists, but beyond that it’s for urban folks who value handmade, sustainable fashion.

Recycling can be very classy as with these cufflinks

Recycling can be very classy as with these cufflinks

What did you do before setting up your jewellery business?
I made a complete change from my previous career as an engineer. I was great at my job and had just finished a part time Masters. By many accounts my career was ‘successful’, but I was miserable. It was difficult to go against the grain and decide to ‘give it all up’. I could probably be making six figures in a year or two if I’d stuck with it. But who wants to be rich and unhappy? Now, I feel like my new business is going to succeed and I can already tell it’s bringing out the better version of myself.

How did the Jewellery Business Bootcamp help you develop your business?
I could never have done this without the bootcamp. I’m not just saying that – my business never would have gotten off the ground without it. I probably would have committed halfway and, for lack of focus and need of an income, been sucked back into my previous industry.

The bootcamp provided me with a clear path for the developing stages of my business. It also basically wrote my business plan for me. It gave me mechanisms, tools and models for planning, tracking my progress, focusing my attention and honing my brand. I use these tools at least once a week, if not daily, to structure my work.

It gave me a lot to think about and a lot of different avenues to pursue. The trickiest part is looking at the big picture and not freaking out. There’s always so much to do, so it’s crucial to set realistic goals and expectations and to track them regularly. For me it’s also important to remember that this is supposed to be fun. Enjoying it means working hard but not killing myself or stressing out – that would make the whole business unsustainable. I work at least sic days a week now, but I get a little lie in everyday and relax, guilt-free, when I know I need a break.

Where can we buy your jewellery?
I sell my jewellery through my website at www.katiesbike.com. There you can also find a list of my stockists. But the best place to buy my jewellery is from my weekend market stalls in London. That way you get to meet me and you can see all the newest stock. I do Oval Farmers Market on Saturdays and various markets on Sundays (check the website or drop me a message to double check my Sunday whereabouts).

Follow me on Instagram and Twitter @katiesbike. I’m also on Facebook at www.facebook.com/katiesbike.

What advice would you give someone thinking of starting a jewellery business?
1. Honestly, do a bootcamp. I’d give that advice to anyone starting any kind of new business.

2. Go for it. I don’t think you can do this on evenings and weekends – you’ll end up exhausted and unfocused. Save up enough so you can support yourself and make a small investment in your business for at least 6 months. Just do it.

Bike chain links make interesting necklace elements

Bike chain links make interesting necklace elements

Find out more about  Jewellery Business Bootcamp and other jewellery business courses by clicking on the links here.