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5/09/2008

Trashion Team Spotlight- Debra of Junk to Jewels!

Shop name: Junk to Jewels

Shop address: www.junktojewels.etsy.com

Trashion materials: I use bike parts, bits of plumbing, and recycled glass beads and transform them into fun jewelry.

How do you do it? I degrease the bike chain and break it apart using a chain tool. That's the hard part. Then I use the chain links like beads. Plumbing pieces similarly are cleaned and used to make funky pendants. The recycled glass beads are from Indonesia so I do not make them.


What inspired you to do this and why are you involved in trashion?
I started all of this after going to an art exhibit at the Fowler Museum at UCLA in Los Angeles. The exhibit featured recycled/upcycled art from around the world. It was truly inspiring! They were doing a workshop for kids that day and my kids and I started to play around with the bits of materials they had gathered and I ended up with a necklace made of bike parts, electrical wire, and beads. It was so much fun and the feedback on my piece was positive so an idea was born. I have no illusions about my jewelry from an ecological standpoint. I know that the bits and pieces being kept out of the landfill are literally a drop in the bucket. Energy goes into making recycled glass but I like the idea of contributing in some small way to raise consciousness about reusing and recycling.



Do you remember the first thing you made using the trashion concept? yes
What was it? The piece I described above.


What are your current projects and what is on the horizon?
I'm always working to create new designs and currently am working a lot with recycled glass. The colors are so amazing and the look of beach glass is soothing to me. Some of my designs are one of a kind but I am also developing a line of pieces that I can market for the wholesale business. My work is in a handful of stores around the country and in some online shops. I recently agreed to be part of a new venture with another Etsy seller called Maison Green. The newest material that I've been playing with is wrapping beads with guitar wire. My daughter recently had her electric guitar restrung so I am using the old ones to make pendants and earrings. It's definitely harder to work with than silver wire but the results are worth it. I'll have a photo on my shop soon.

Why should people buy handmade, and buy from trashion? I'm trying to get rid of as many "shoulds" in my life as I can :-) But it's fun to see what other people come up with. It's dizzying how creative the human mind is..... Just looking at the front page of Etsy can be overwhelming but so exciting at the same time. Handcrafted stuff can be beautiful, whimsical, funky. I like to share that with people who value it.

More you'd like to share: My other passion in life is to share what I know about respectful, consent-based parenting. My blog is at http://www.outsidetheboxparenting.com

Thank you for sharing your beautiful and innovative jewelry with us Debra!