Friday 27 February 2009

Kitsch Jewelry Making & Vintage Redux by Brenda Schweder

Our family hates waste, I think it is because my husband and I were the product of the late fifties and sixties. Very little was wasted in those days. Being a keen gardener and from at least two generations of keen gardeners. Both my parents and grandparents kept chickens and had most of their garden given over to producing food. We used toilet rolls to plant beans and sweet peas. Kitchen waste and paper turned into rich compost. Carpet covered ground to suppress weeds and warm it up for those early potatoes. Cartoons were used as seed trays and a whole greenhouse, staging and cold frames were produced from off cuts and plastic and glass throw outs.

So it was a natural progression to keep the broken pieces of jewelry and "odd" or kitsch things that were no longer of use or had fallen out of fashion. I have a great imagination on what these pieces can be used for but unfortunately no longer the dexterity to carry out any crafts. Knowing that sometimes the ideas require items that can be difficult to find. We started to list a few kitsch items on our website as part of the beads, buttons and findings. Just as a section to create interest and maybe fire someone's imagination. Vintage marbles to wire for men's jewellery (love the used chipped look, just tumble to smooth the edges), plastic dogs that can be used for a charm bracelet. Gonks or trolls that can be collected or turned into earrings, bracelets, neckleces or phone charms. Scrabble pieces and dominoes can be re-used. For ideas or just to buy finished jewellery have a look at the artists on the website Ruby lane.

Our Kitsch section has been very successful, we have in fact sold over half the items listed and continue to receive visits from many people. So we will still continue to add kitsch items as and when we have sourced them!

When I saw a book just released in November last year that showed you how to use vintage jewellery to make new and interesting "new" jewelry - I was intrigued. At the time the book was only available from the USA. So I sent for it and though had a bit of a wait for delivery, it was certainly worth it.

The book was Vintage Redux by Brenda Schweder.

This is Brenda's second book, her first Junk to Jewelry was published the previous year. If you reuse vintage jewelry in any form of jewelry making, I would recommend this book. Brenda has some fantastic ideas and her refashioned jewelry looks brilliant.
I love bracelets and bangles and her use of brooches on plastic bangles is a great idea. Also using brass stampings to give a vintage appeal and to facelift a plain plastic bangle is something I had never thought of doing. I would have thought to glue stones to the bangle but they would have been fragile, but to wire stampings into the plastic gives a more stable piece of jewelry.

"Great minds think alike" comes to mind when I saw the use of cloisonne thimbles. Having just brought and photographed a pair of thimbles to add to our kitsch section. I can not recommend this book enough and have now just purchased her first book and I am eagily awaiting delivery
The photographs have been taken from the book

1 comment:

  1. Hehe, awesome, it was only the other day I was remembering collecting these little trolls and wondering what they were called. Used to have loads of them - teehee :) x


About Me

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Solihull, West Midlands, United Kingdom
I preserve the past. Researching family and local history. Finding about mine and other people's ancestors, is just one of my passions. I also love vintage costume jewellery made here in the UK. I write about my finds and like to research.