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Saturday, 4 July 2009

In answer to an interesting question on a Flickr group I am part of


The question was how do you source your materials and I starting to think about where and why I source my materials.

My materials for my JUNK JEWLLERY come from my rubbish, packaging, lids, kids bubble wands. I have worked with recycled materials for 20 years but my wirework is not immediately obviously recycled and I wanted a range that was "in your face" made from rubbish that was indentifiable.

My other materials come from wire from old televisions that I take to pieces (I don't recommend you do this) and any interesting things I pick up from friends. I have friends who save and send my wrappers from Canada to the UK and coincidently I have sent beer bottle lids I had from when I lived in Canada to America from the UK to a contact on Flickr who makes wonderful jewellery from beer cans and coke cans.

I also get wire and metal from the scrap yard. I usually get funny looks when I go in. One time I found loads of wire used in construction for my sculptures -all galvanised and I put it on the scales and the scrap yard guys said "oh, no love! We don't buy that!" I said "no, that I want to buy it from them" and they were perfectly happy to sell it to me. My lead also comes from scrap yards but to be honest it is almost the same price for 2nd hand as it is for new and I don't like to encourage the market for people to steal it from church roofs or from building sites and if the price is so good for 2nd hand they will.

I do purchase wire & mesh from wires.co.uk and fittings from Burhouse. I like to get quality fittings - there is nothing worse than spending hours on a piece only to have the fitting fail.

I buy my card from Cutting Edge for backing the cheaper ranges of jewellery and my boxes and packaging from the Tiny Box Company - all recycled and all online. I buy my Brads and eyelets from wherever I can get the right colours and size.

I buy my handbags from charity shops but they have to be in pristine condition. Satin finish so that I can get a curved needle into the fabric to atatch the wire, so no leather or plastic.

The fabric I use for lining, the larger pieces is usual new although I have lined hats with kids trousers and wedding dresses but I use every scrap in other pieces. I try to minimise my waste output.

I used to buy in some fittings from America but try to source locally now but obviusly if there is nothing here in the UK that mets my needs I will import some stuff.

My materials budget is very low and my input of time is very high so my wire work is not cheap (not really expensive either) but I have developed the junk jewellery range and the stainless steel mesh origami earrings so I can cater for people who have less disposable income.

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