samedi 19 mai 2012

I recently had an article published about my upcycled jewellery in the wonderful online magazine Artizen

Press Article Becycle

mercredi 23 novembre 2011

Upcycle Jewellery tutorial: Pine cone necklace

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 I enjoy playing around with so many different " ingredients" for jewellery making, jewellery can be made from many upcycled elements. So continuing on the theme of using natural elements in jewellery design I will show you in this tutorial how to make earrings and necklaces from the larger pine cone scales.This project is simple but it might inspire you to create more complicated natural jewellery.
A nice "fresh pine cone"

Chose a fresh cone as the colour will be brighter and it even looks like its been varnished. Brake a way the scaled from the cone use pliers for this as it quiet tough.

Trim the edges with scissors.

Drill a small hole in the top with the smallest drill bit you have.

   Use jump rings so you can thread the scales onto necklaces or earrings.

                                                                   Some examples

mercredi 16 novembre 2011

Recycling crew at Glastonbury Festival

The festival site resembles a rubbish dump on Monday

Surface rubbish

I've been off grid for a while, travelling and working around Europe. Although not jewellery related I wanted to write about my experience this summer working as part of the recycling crew during and after Britain's largest music and performing arts festival, Glastonbury Festival.  Set in the rural county of Somerset, the Festival employs large numbers of people in the recycling and the clean up operation. Over 150 000 people visit the festival during the week end. This represents the size of a large town in England and they consume and discard a large amount of  "stuff" not always rubbish. I was quite shocked and saddened by the sight, I hadn't been to the festival for nearly 20 years and I can't recall it being in such a state at the end, it defiantly reflects the throw away mentality that exists now a days. The clean up operation can last for many weeks after the festival depending on the conditions, this year was not one of the easiest.  As it was a very muddy festival and rubbish got buried in the mud which then dried and so the ground had to be ploughed up several times to bring drinks can, plastic bottles, large quantity of sun glasses and various array of lost and thrown away items to the surface. The fields of Worthy farm and the surrounding land on which the festival is held, need to be spotless so the herd of diary cows can return to graze in safety.

A few days into the clean up, the rubbish is bagged up.

A fleet of over 10 refuse lorries work for nearly 2 weeks taking the non recyclable rubbish to the land fill
                                                                                                                                                                     Glastonbury festival tries to encourage the public to do as much recycling on site as possible, by providing different recycling bins and handing out bin bags with " love the farm leave no trace" printed on them. The festival organisers aimed for 60% recycling this year, I don't know if that target was reached this year, an unconfirmed rumour was that over a million pounds was spent on land fill taxes. What ever the exact percentage of recycling Glastonbury Festival achieves, it does try to be as green as possible.
 Below are a few examples of creative upcycling and recycling.

                                               The Mutoid Waste Co

The Mosquito built by Joe Rush makes its point over the Bloodsucker Bar

The Head On Fire - Built by Crusty Mark and lit by Eddie Egal
  A short video on some of the recycling before the festival


Read about some of the recycling efforts in the Glastonbury Festival blog

Upcycled rain coats and bags made from discarded festival tents

samedi 4 juin 2011

Upcycle Jewellery tutorial

         Make a bracelet from cherry
                     pip beads

You will need:
-Small drill bit, 1.5mm
-Elastic thread
-Drill or a Dremel 
Fruit seeds and pips were used during the prehistory to make beads. They were probably the earliest kind of jewellery along with shells, feathers and bone. They are still used in country that have abundant supply's of lovely coloured seeds such as Brazil. Here in Europe, there are a few that can be used and cherry pips are easy to get hold of. For this tutorial I have used wild cherries, they are smaller and plentiful in the hedgerows in western France but you can use shop bought, the pips will be larger.

Cleaning the pips
Although wild cherries are bitter it is possible to cook them up with some sugar and eat them. Simmer slowly until the pulp comes off the pip. If you have shop bought or garden cherries then all you have to do is eat them and clean them inside your mouth.

Wash, scrub if necessary and dry, when they are dry rub them together to get rid of the bits of dried cherry that might be left. 

Drill a hole through the pip ( there is a natural dip at the top of the cherry so start here) The pip is hollow, drill through the first section and continue to the second bit do not apply too much pressure as it will slightly crack the outside of the pip.
String the pip beads on the elastic  thread. You could also make necklaces and earrings with the beads.
The darker cherry pip on this bracelet were found on the ground under the tree they seem to have been coloured by the rotting pulp.
The natural oils on the skin will in time give the bracelet a lovely patina.

Did you know that there has been a long tradition of making herbal tea from the cherry stems, it is used as a diuretic. Here is a link to a recipe.


mardi 31 mai 2011

Animated film about Ewaste

                             A great little,  animated  film about the effects of the over production of electronic gadgets and the consequence on the poorer countrys who end up dealing with our ewaste                                                                      
   If you want to see more of their films, go to their website The story of stuff over 12 million people have already watched the 20 minute long film called "the story of stuff " which was only released on the internet in December 2010                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

samedi 28 mai 2011

Yiuco the upcycle hype

Yiuco is a new Greek based online market place for handmade products made from upcycled, recycled or reused materials. The word Yiuco in Greek means piled up clothes. It was launched at the beginning of the year and with all the competition on the web from market places selling handmade goods it might have some trouble getting noticed. Although it does have a niche market and as far as i am aware it is the only on line market place the is solely committed to selling  upcycled, recycled and reused handmade goods.

dimanche 22 mai 2011

Recycled jewellery by Coca Cola

In 2010 the French Coca Cola company in association with Gontie Paris  started marketing recycled glass jewellery made from coca cola bottles. It seems that if a large multi national company are choosing to branch out to into such a creative venture, then the significance of the trashion movement is not just a flash in the pan. Unfortunately for the moment it's only available to French customers, but for those interested you can browse through the catalogue here and there is a brief explanation ( only in French for the moment) of the techniques used to make the jewellery.