Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Made in St. Louis; Flatware Converts into One-of-a-Kind Jewelry

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Made in St. Louis; Flatware Converts into One-of-a-Kind Jewelry

Article excerpt

- Tell us about yourself. I'm a victim of the mortgage crisis. I've been an unemployed real estate appraiser for nearly three years. I needed to reinvent myself. I have always loved being creative and wanted to start a new career that would allow me to create and design. About a year ago, I took a box of silver flatware into a local jeweler who buys silver and gold. I was told that I actually had silver-plated pieces. Gold and silver buyers are interested in sterling silver and not silver-plated.

- So what did you do with it? I started thinking about this box of flatware and what I could do with it. I remembered in my youth how popular spoon rings were, and then I thought, why not take this silver flatware that no one ever uses and make jewelry. I started researching silver-plated patterns, noticing things in silverware I had never really noticed before. The intricacies of a pattern, the shapes and styles, such as floral patterns, art nouveau and art deco patterns. My mind was racing with ideas, and I had to try to make these spoon necklaces, bracelets and earrings that I had envisioned in my mind. I made a few holiday gifts for family members, and they turned out even better than I had hoped. With the support and encouragement of my family, I started creating bracelets, necklaces and earrings from vintage pieces of silver-plated flatware, giving new life to old pieces that over time had been forgotten.

- Where does your inspiration come from? My inspiration comes from my customers - the look on their faces when they realize what the jewelry is made from. Some have even recognized patterns that their grandmother or other beloved family members have had in years past. When they purchase a piece of my jewelry, they are getting a memory, something old that has been repurposed and made new and functional. They inspire me to create unique pieces that they can enjoy for years to come.

- Do you work alone? My mother sometimes helps me set up my display and sell at the market on Saturdays. …

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