Bags of loot

Melissa is sorting between the good, the bad and the broken in her quest to recycled/upcycle some jewellery.

01 Bag 1  02 Bag 1 interior

I’ve got bags of recycled jewels. The first one I picked up last Thursday at the end of the first Seattle Metals Guild 2013 Lecture Series presentation by local artist and recent Cranbrook graduate Julia Heineccius. Julia gave an interesting presentation about  herself and her work, what life was like at Cranbrook which touched on the privileges and privations of going to graduate school in this country. It’s not for the faint of heart.

Anyway, back to bags of jewellery.

I picked up this one from Micki Lippe after the lecture. This is a cluster of jewels, the siblings of which have been shoved into many multiples of similar bags. The jewels (which in some cases can only be considered the remains thereof) come from American Eagle Outfitters. I’m not familiar with the brand at all, but I can tell you that they dump a lot of jewellery annually if the evidence collected is anything to go by. But to arrest the tide, someone from their organisation stepped in and offered the bags of loot to the SMG via Micki, and so she has been coordinating efforts to untangle, sort, repair and clean the works and then send the pieces off to local women’s shelters. Again, as told to us all by Micki, the efforts have been much appreciated.

So I took a bag – well, two thirds of a whole one as volunteers outstripped supply on Thursday night – and began sorting on Saturday, along with Turbo. Then, just as we left the house to “take a walk ’round the neighbourhood” (you Aussies should be able to translate that colloquialism yourselves) while it was sunny, Lyndon, our part Maori postman, stopped us saying that he had a registered package that I needed to sign for.

Guess what? Another bag of jewellery!

The Once More, With Love exhibition in Australia is heading to Melbourne from the 16th of February where it will be hosted by Northcity4. My work, Sun God, from the original outings has sold, so co-curator Simon Cottrell asked me if I wanted to make a new work to replace it. I said yes – of course – so he sent me a bag full of recycled jewellery from which to create my piece(s). And now I have more bags of loot recycled jewellery that I know what to do with.

Now see if you can spot the difference;

03 Bag 1 - knot  04 OMWL T2

If you guessed American – left, Australian – right, you’re correct!!

So far Turbo and I have untangled about two-thirds of the jewellery, which is proving an almost irresistible force to two tenacious knot-pickers as we watch TV of an evening, since it’s spread out all over the coffee table in front of us. Last night we gave up on the tele all together and listened to music instead, while he faced off with the mega-knot (left – above, at less than half the original size) and I repaired some of them and remade others from the pile of irreparable parts.

About half the bags of jewels reassembled so far.
About half of the bags of jewels reassembled so far.