I have been collecting found objects to make into jewelry for years
now. Although some objects are man made, such as beads from my own
salvaged jewelry, small plastic buoys from fishing traps, and 1920's
illustrations pulled from the insulation of an old house a friend is
restoring, most of my collection consists of natural objects. Among
others, I've collected seed pods from coppice in The Bahamas, horse
chestnut seeds from fields in England, bark from forests in western
Massachusetts, stones from beaches in Alaska, seeds from a river's shore
in Canada, and shells from the coast of Maine.
intended to use these supplies to make jewelry for quite some time, yet
I've only dabbled, resulting in a couple pairs of earrings. This year, I
disassembled jewelry of mine that I no longer wanted in order to
re-purpose beads and other useful pieces, which I sorted into bowls.
wintery morning, watching the sunrise from the Eastern Prom Beach, I
noticed loads of lobster tails washed up on shore. At first, I thought
perhaps this proliferation of shells was because it was molting season,
however I soon discovered that some tails had rubber bands holding them
together. I stuffed about two dozen tails into the various pockets of
my snow pants, while cradling as many as I could in my mittened hands
and returned home, leaving the pile beside shoes in the front hallway.
the scent of rotting sea creature was evident in the hallway and I
became not only a menace to my neighbors, but slightly discouraged. No
one wants something rotting dangling from their ears! I decided to soak
the shells in water with a small amount of bleach. After soaking, I
hung them on the clothes line to dry, where they remained forgotten for a
couple of weeks. Much to my delight, when I removed them from the line
they no longer smelled. I rubbed off the hairy fringe at the base of
the tails and pulled the tails apart into sections. Now I had lobster
tail shells which could be used for jewelry!
sorting and photo journaling this year, I've made one pair of earrings
so far, using only a thumb tack to make holes in the seeds and shells,
and pliers to open and close the silver rings which join the pieces.
The first earring I made came out as planned, however the one I was
making to be its pair posed a problem. The hole in the horse chestnut
seed tore, so I attempted to use crazy glue to hold the loop in place.
Luckily none of the five methods I used to fasten the seed with glue
held. So I went back to the stash of seeds to find one of comparable
size. I was reluctant to abandon the first seed in favor of the second,
because it was not as perfect a match in shape and size. However, I
was extremely pleased to not use crazy glue and soon realized that no
one else will notice, so I should have adjusted much sooner- lesson
The resulting pair of earrings are quite
nice. They are dangle low, reminding me of earrings that a colleague
had which I absolutely loved. I am very pleased with this outcome,
therefore intend to put the other supplies to great use in the future!