Going to Australia? If so, you must check out the Once More, With Love show. It's a fascinating example of ethical jewelry - 21 contemporary jewelers with interests in recycled materials re-work 'with love' unwanted jewelry items donated by the Australian public.
The artists were given a 'mystery' bag of recycled items like wood, metals, and plastic costume jewelry, out of which they had to recreate a piece of jewelry.
"Scatter necklace" (below) by Melinda Young is made of lapis lazuli, sodalite, scrap acrylic, silver and silk thread.
Here's Young describing how she made this piece: "It uses materials from three of the necklaces in the bag of materials I was sent. It was an exercise in randomness - I roughly worked out the footprint of the beads and then free-cut a shape from some scrap acrylic, counted the beads and drilled 72 random holes in the acrylic (one for each bead). I selected the beads randomly and stitched them around the shape. So much fun and a direct contrast to the first piece I made for this exhibition Grid, which drove me crazy and took me weeks to make."
"Shuibuichi brooch" (below) by Jill Hermans is made from shuibuichi, a Japanese alloy that is one part silver to three parts copper and assumes a silvery gray patina when treated. Hermans has been experimenting with shuibuichi and Japanese ideals of beauty.
Simon Cottrell uses predominantly monel (a hard nickel-copper alloy) in his work. The ring below is described with humor, in Cottrell's words: "Gold shiny sparkle polite, with impolite eruptions of 18ct gold, diamonds, monel cast-offs from my own work."
"Cameo" brooch (below) by Regina Middleton is made of an assortment of materials like electrical wire, shell, coral, cameo, pearls (both fake and real). Middleton is an 'ethical' jewelry who routinely uses cast off items in her work.
Sun God" necklace by Melissa Cameron is made of saw-pierced brass and steel cable (below). Cameron saw pierces recycled objects by hand using of a variety of materials, from thick stainless steel plate to thin pressed tin. Cameron likes geometry and symmetrical patterns.
Aren't these great pieces? They're all appealing and stand on their own, despite being made out of recycled materials.