Saturday, February 28, 2009

Holly Anne Mitchell Jewelry - Recycled Newspapers and Comic Strips

We want to be as eco-friendly as possible. If that means wearing jewelry made with pre-used items, we are all for it, as long as the design is interesting and the functionality of the item isn't compromised.

In a throw-away society, things like the daily newspapers, comic strips, stock reports, and losing lottery tickets all find their way rather easily into the trash can. But when Holly Anne Mitchell gets hold of these pieces of paper detritus, they become something not only worth keeping but actually worth wearing. To our way of thinking, that is eco-friendliness at its best.

While Holly Anne originally began her endeavor using newspaper comic strips because of the rich color patterns, her designs have evolved over the years to include sweetener packets, expired grocery coupons and losing lottery tickets. Makes us want to gather up our paper recyclables and ship it to her instead of taking it to the local recycling station so she may use it all to make more art-to-wear delights.

This pair of earrings is called Recycled Newspaper Political Cartoon

Holly Anne's technique calls for her to painstakingly handcraft each paper bead. She cuts the paper into strips, hand-forms each strip into uniform-sized beads, then stitches them together. She embellishes them with metallic beads or sparkly crystals to create multi-layered necklaces, bracelets, cuff links, brooches, and earrings. The textural, innovative results are wonderfully stylish and a really fun conversation starter.

These amusing pieces are called Comic Strip Earrings

This bracelet made with California losing lottery tickets is called Shattered Dreams. It's lush, has a strangely satisfying heft to it, and is embellished with brass beads. Brass seems to be an appropriate metal to use to signify a lost lottery fortune. Gold would be a powerful choice of embellishment if one actually were to win the lottery . . . . and wearing recycled paper jewelry to lessen one's eco-footprint would be appropriate in either case.

This pendant is called What's Black and White and Red All Over ? Amusing touches such as this are found throughout Holly Anne's website.

A bit of political philosophy emerges in a piece called The Martin Luther King Commemorative Necklace. This piece is made with Holly Anne's signature recycled newspaper beads in several different colors. As she puts it:

"The color of each bead (white, black, red, yellow, etc.) is representative of a race. The beads are juxtaposed in a pattern representative of Reverend King's dream."

We appreciate her nod to a cross-cultural design and expression of a noble sentiment.

Eco-friendly materials, intriguing designs, and dedication to uncompromising technique. We find these pieces inspiring.

What do you find inspiring about this work?

Leave us some comments, we'd love to hear from you.

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