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Friday, May 19, 2017

We're All Ears :: May Reveal :: Trash Transformed

When I got my start making jewelry I had a name for myself using unexpected materials and found objects. That is why my company name is Tesori Trovati which is Italian for "treasures found." To this day, I enjoy the challenge of turning something that would otherwise be neglected, forgotten or discarded into something of beauty, substance and ingenuity. There is a fine line between trash and treasure and I like to walk it daily! 

There is a little art gallery in our town called the Riverfront Arts Center. Right on the picturesque banks of the Wisconsin River (and literally steps from my office building) this tiny gem offers rotating exhibits featuring mainly local art. I have had the good fortune of having my work juried into exhibits like their signature Winter Garden theme in the dead of winter that features live orchids, violets and succulents among an explosion of floral art, the BikeLove exhibit that centered around our beautiful 26 mile Green Circle trail and the bike culture. This spring they brought back a popular exhibit that I was a part of in 2013 called "Re-Art Revived" with the focus on using recycled material in art. the criteria was that 75% of the art had to use reclaimed, recycled or trash material. I submitted three necklaces plus I made an accompanying set of earrings for one. (If you want to skip to the end you can see the earrings....)


This first piece, "Hex on You" was created about 8 years ago as part of a submission for the Bead Star competition. It did not get chosen probably because there was literally not one bead in it! But I loved it and wore it proudly. Those are hardware store hex nuts you see. I had a friend of mine who owned an auto repair shop paint those bright colors on some. It is all tied together with embroidery floss and woven with a sort of modified friendship bracelet pattern. It is one of those pieces that people want to touch and see up close. I still have some of those colorful hex nuts. I should probably make a pair of earrings to go with this!


Next up is a piece I had in mind for awhile called "Pop My Top" and features bottlecap beads made just for me by Trinket Foundry in Minneapolis. If you don't know their work, you should check it out. They are known for taking items destined to be landfill and turning them into components that have a new life in jewelry designs. They sell thousands of bottlecap beads of every sort you can imagine...diving into giant tubs of them at Bead & Button Show is always a hoot! They have a great video showing all the steps it takes to make each one. I do not have the sort of patience! But I do live in Stevens Point, home of the Point Brewery, which makes beer, of course, and also sodas. Their root beer is the best! I gathered hundreds of bottlecaps and sent them to Trinket Foundry and ordered a few hundred of these beads made just for me. She says when she has them she can't keep them in stock because they are so quaint! And I own literally dozens of them. If you look closely, you will see the Point-y headed company mascot has funny sayings. I also used brass transom chain from the hardware store to bring it all together. 



And by the way, guess who won BEST IN SHOW for the exhibit? Me! I found out on Friday when I attended the opening reception that "Pop My Top" was the winner. Wowza! It was a blind jurying by a really well-known assemblage and pleine aire landscape artist named Diane Bywaters, who is a professor at our university. If you have made it this far and are interested, here is a little slideshow of some of the other art in the exhibit.


Which brings me to my final piece created for the exhibit, called "Light as a Feather." I made this necklace just for the show, and created some earrings to go with it (you might be thinking, well its about time she got to the earrings!). I asked a lot of people to touch it and hold it and guess what it was made from, and they were all stumped. That qualifies as a total success in my book!  It has a wow factor and saturated color from the hand-painting and the inherent shine and luminescence of the material. Here is a detail of the process I undertook to make this set.


There was some heat involved with not much more than a candle and an embossing heat gun, along with alcohol inks and paints, a plant hanging kit for the chain in a long lariat style necklace that only needs to be wrapped in a variety of ways to get a jumble of sparkly lightweight feathers. I can't wait to wear this when the exhibit is complete.

And here are the earrings (finally!) that I made to go with this necklace. I wanted to make sure that I represented all the different styles I created... the hand-painted feathers along with the wavy heat created feathers that look a lot like abalone shells. Super lightweight and flashy!


Proof that you can make something pretty special from almost nothing at all....if you dare to imagine the possibilities that the material holds!


Now it is your turn! I can't wait to see what you did with your unexpected finds. Please share your creations below...and how about we sweeten the deal a bit... I have a few extra feathers that I made and I will select a random winner from anyone that enters a link below. If you didn't get something made, you now have one week to paw through your garbage and recycling and transform your trash into art! I will select a random winner from all links and contact the winner next week.

16 comments:

  1. These are all amazing designs! Congrats on best of show--a well deserved honor!

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  2. What awesome pieces! You are so talented! I really enjoyed playing along this month... thanks, as always, for the inspiring challenge! :)

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  3. You are a rock star miss Erin!! I love them all but that Hex necklace is super fabulous!!!!!!!!!!!! Congratulations for Best of Show!!

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  4. What a stunning pair of earrings! The necklaces are amazing as well. You're so insanely creative! And I'm a little jealous :))))

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  5. OH.MY.GOODNESS. These designs show what an amazing artist you are Erin. Congratulations for Best of Show, so well deserved. I love the light as a feather necklace. The colors are amazing. I could wear the necklace and earrings just everyday. Thank you for being such an inspiration.

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  6. Very cool and something that I love to do myself!

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  7. Congratulations on winning!! You as well as your creations LOOK FABULOUS! Everything is so lovely, and the colors are amazing!

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  8. Thank you so much for offering up some yumminess. My first entry link is bad. How can I delete it? xo

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    1. Thanks for letting me know. I deleted it. Happy you could play along! Enjoy the day! Erin

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  9. I tried making several designs (crazy experiments) for this reveal and all of remarkably failed. With a heavy heart I decided to throw them all out. I'll revisit them again in june when I have a little more time at my disposal. I love your pop your tart and the cd piece - for they are quite clever.

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  10. Oh! Those are gorgeous, and so are those, and those too, and ... ! :-D Oddly, the gorgeous feathers aren't on sale on your site, at least as far as I can find, that one can buy there. Because, wow wow WOW beautiful!

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  11. The creative ways you transformed these items is so inspiring. Your imagination and exploration are amazing. Everything is fantastic
    Mona

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  12. It's a CD! The feathers look fantastic, it's a great recycling project where you can hardly recognize the salvaged trash! LOVE the hex piece, too!

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  13. The blues, the colors, the shimmer and shine, they are spectacular, Erin! Congratulations on the win, too! We all create for the love of it, but to be recognized is a wonderful feeling. :) I would never have guessed a CD? Do they make clear CDs? lol Either way, they are amazing!

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  14. I love your "feather" earrings and necklace! What a cool idea! (I'm a little scarred from an incident that happened with a teenager at the library when we did a project with old CDs so I'm not brave enough to try cutting something like that up without "adult" supervision!) I have to admit that I'm totally dying for those colored hex nuts... you need to make earrings with those too!! (or just give them to me if they're taking up space at your house, lol!)

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  15. Oh, you killed that challenge with your submissions. The last set is definitely my favorite. Are those old CDs/DVDs? Very cool! It looks/sounds like it was a fun and involved process. But, well worth the effort! Thanks so much for this challenge. It made me step out of my box (and dig through the trash), and was a bit of fun too boot! :D

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