I have always loved working with my hands. About 15 years ago I started making jewelry. I started with beading, which progressed to wire wrapping. Then I decided I needed to learn to solder. So I took a soldering class. I was stressed when the instructor told us we needed to come up with our own project. This sent me into a tail spin. I had no idea what I was going to do.
I went for a walk one day and found a perfectly formed, tiny cube of aqua colored glass on the road. I had my project! I made a crude sterling silver ring and set this delicious aqua cube of glass in it. Well, I found out it wasn’t the perfect cube when I showed the ring to my instructor. He looked it over critically. He turned it to the side and said to me that I set my stone crooked AND what kind of a stone was it?
His mouth dropped open when I told him it was a piece of safety glass I found on the road. We had a good laugh.
A few weeks later my daughter was out jogging and called me. “Mom, I found more of that glass. Do you want it?” Sure I do, was my response. So she brought me a small bag of beautiful bluish green cubes of glass.
Not long after that she and her husband went hiking on the Pacific Crest Trail. Their journey took them almost 6 months, since it runs from Mexico to Canada. I missed her terribly.
I had been working with Precious Metal Clay at the time. The type of PMC that I was using consisted of micro-fine particles of pure silver, water and an organic binder. It is actually recycled silver made in an eco-friendly facility. Anyway, when fired in a kiln the water and binder burn off and when you are finished firing the resulting piece is 99.9% pure fine silver. There is a catch. When the piece is fired in the kiln, the water and binder burn off. As a result the piece shrinks. So this beautiful silver setting went to waste on the turquoise cabochon I was going to set in it.
I threw the piece on my window sill where I could brood over it. I couldn’t throw it away . . . after all it is pure silver. My window sill serves as my “think tank” after mulling my visual mistakes over for 6 months or more, I often have a “eureka” moment and a misfit piece will guide me to what it needs to become.
One day as I contemplated what I would work on that day, I saw the bag of glass that my daughter had given me. I commenced putting the tiny pieces of broken glass into the “too small setting for my turquoise cabochon”. Interesting . . . I kinda like it. I gave the recycled silver and glass pendant to my daughter when she returned from her 2000 mile + hike. She loved it!
Thus, I started making more recycled silver pieces with recycled glass, which I call my “Green Jewelry Collection”. I am sending you images of my latest pieces. The bracelet and the ring are made with the glass of a broken antique blue canning jar and the other pieces are created from broken windshield glass . . . one man’s trash . . . my treasure!