This month, TrashTalk catches up with recycled jewelry artist, Alex Keller. The pieces she creates are big on *bling* and long on *style*- Check out these recycled watchband bangles- BRILLIANT!
How long have you been making trashion art and when and why did you start?
Officially, I started making trashion in the spring of '09, but I've always made things by recycling.
Did you grow up with a green family, or is recycling and reusing something you taught yourself to do?
My family was always green. I'm first generation Ukrainian, and both my parents are from Ukraine. They grew up with out much at all, so they were always very thrifty and creative. Mama made a lot of my clothes growing up, and I used the scraps to make clothes for my Barbie’s. Mama cooked and baked everything from scratch, we had a huge garden, she saved everything and reused anything that could be reused, from aluminum foil to zip close bags, to scraps of paper... she wouldn't even throw out slivers of soap.
Where do you find the materials that you plan on turning into trashion art?
Thrift stores, resale shops, vintage and antique shops, my dresser, my mom's dresser, garage sales, estate sales, and all donations are accepted :)
How did you or do you come up with your ideas?
I read a lot of fashion magazines, catalogs, and now I read a lot of blogs, look at on line shops, and get lost on Etsy. I think designers and artists are inspiring to one another. It pushes me to be more creative, but at the same time I try to stay with my aesthetic.
Why is it important for you to continue on this artistic path with trashion art?
I just don't think that by buying new beads and gemstones I'd be as inventive! Besides, there is SO much material to work with - I'm amazed at what I find.
How do you feel the community has taken to your art?
I have had great feedback from some of my customers, fashionistas, as well as some fellow Etsy artists.
What draws you to a particular found object?
I tend to go in cycles - first it was beads, then pearls, rhinestones, and chains. I collected a number of brooches, but I've been back to working more with chains and pearls.
Do you know right off how you will use your found materials, or does the inspiration come later?
Many times the inspiration comes later. Sometimes, I just get something because I like it. Trouble is, sometimes I keep it!
What new projects are you working on? Is there an idea you have that you'd like to share?
My latest project is an architectural series with vintage drawer pulls and chandelier crystals. I'm really loving it, and hope it goes well.
And I've also been meaning to put together a jewelry organizer with some spools I got from Miss Courageous. As soon as that's done, I'll post some pictures on Facebook!
Thanks Alex, it's been nice talkin' trash with you!