How have you been influenced by the project?

This project made me stop and think about how valuable it is to consider recycling jewelry and jewelry parts that are no longer being used. It is always so wonderful to see how a metal artist who has taken on this challenge can take a broken or rejected element and turn it into something fabulous. At first I didn’t know where to start with the pieces I received. I was relieved to attend the “swap” party at Deb Lozier’s studio. I had high hopes of finding the perfect parts that someone else couldn’t use. I found a few more parts and surrendered others. But I still felt restricted and not too inspired. So I put the parts that had the most potential in a little box and carried it with me back and forth to school and home. Whenever I had some time, I would pull the pieces out, move them around and put them back in the box. Each time I did this I got a little closer to being able to start. Once I had a plan, I moved right along. When I look at my finished pieces, I don’t think anyone would know that I made them. But they sparked some new ideas and hopefully I have breathed some new life into them.

How do you weigh what techniques and materials you will use?

I spread out my bag of goodies and let the parts speak to me. At first it was very faint whispers, but every day I tried to design something, more possibilities became evident. It would not have worked for me to go in with a preconceived idea.

How are creative license, personal safety, environment, and social responsibility factored in to your choices?

These were all considerations in my work.

How do you anticipate future uses for the materials that you are using?

I occasionally use found objects in my work. I usually pick the object for the piece I am making. I don’t usually make a piece based on a found object. This was a real challenge. But once I got into this project, I had some fun.

Will a jeweler in the future be able to reuse your piece by disassembling or melting down the metal?

I made three pieces. The bracelet could be melted down and used again because it was all silver. The other two pieces were combinations of mystery metals, stainless steel, and brass. I wouldn’t recommend melting them down!

—Marilyn da Silva