Friday, August 13, 2010

Bits As Parts of A New Whole......


After a while, many of us who collect old bits of things, old buttons, watch parts, beads and hardware, find that these treasures start to FIND us. I have several friends in various parts of the country who know what it is that I collect and who keep their eyes open and ears to the ground , with my little list in mind. Occasionally, I will find a box or an envelope in the mail with broken jewelry, rusted metal or old buttons and linens tucked inside. Many other folks ask me what I do with all of these bits of fluff and whatnot and to some, TRASH. So I thought that I would share a bit of my creative process with you! Above you can see a picture of some of the various bits form my stash, everything from broken jewelry chains, to single earrings, to beads and old buttons.

THe majority of these items I modify in some way. I will combine a single earring with the decorative back of a vintage shoe clip to show off the wonderful embossed decoration on the clip back. I will wire several buttons together to make an attractive dangle element and I will seperate the chains into smaller bits and reassemble into a collage chain format. I also make my own bead elements out of bits of quilted fabrics, hand painted cloth and seed beads. Sometimes I add beads created from painted and melted tyvek or distressed felt. Anything that is found with a hole in it becomes a bead or I will find A way to wire wrap a hole-less item or drill a hole in something that was not intended to be a "bead".


For example, here I have created a sterling silver wire and vintage button grouping to create a necklace dangle. The underwear button (pre elastic invention, with the two oversized holes) has two mother of pearl childrens clothing buttons and a white leather shoe button attached to it.


In the picture above you can see a collage that I have created in a vintage watch case. After I have amassed my elements and created a theme for my particular creation , I begin linking all of the bits together to create a jewelry collage. I cannot share anymore pictures of this particular piece right now as this will be on it's way to a dear friend, for a birthday celebration. WHen the piece arrives at it's destination, I will be free to reveal the entire piece.
I may not know what I will be using each and every little bit for, when I find it, but I do know that each part will play an important role in each of my collage jewelry creations. By putting all of these little bits of singularly insignificant ephemera together, a new creative and cohesive whole is formed and each bit is honored as an integral member of that new piece of jewelry


9 comments:

shirley said...

thank you so much for posting this item about bits and pieces. I am trying to make a fabric sampler book, and see lots of possibilities....I hesitate to do some things in case they are stupid, but now I am going to just go for it and hope for the best.

Liz Kettle said...

Oh my goodness! I can't wait to see the entire piece. I know the 'dear friend' will be delighted...may even cry!

Jacky said...

Great post Elizabeth and lucky, lucky friend to be receiving that gorgeous piece of collage jewellery...Beautiful!!!

Jacky xox

elle said...

Very informative. I'm not sure I want another stash, vbsigh, but I want to do more in the way of mixed media, so I'm watching closely, Elizabeth!

Suztats said...

There are now some wonderful images swirling around in this brain as to best use some of my 'junk' stash. Thanks for the inspiration.

Jensters said...

Just found your blog from stitching fingers and its wonderful....love your work...shall become a follower to see what else you do.

Jillayne said...

Isn't that the truth - friends and family become aware whether they like it or not and are often quite drawn in to your creative world. First comes puzzlement, then doubt and finally they are aiding and abetting! This happens to me quite regularly and I love it!

Ro Bruhn said...

You're a lady after my own heart Elizabeth. I collect them all together then wait for them to jump out at me as I work on my table, it's amazing how the right piece always appears. I love what you've put together here, look forward to seeing it all.

Diane said...

This is cool that people save these bits for you, Elizabeth!
Hugs, Diane

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