In the Summer issue fo Stringing magazine, we present a feature that discusses the topic of "beading green"--using eco-friendly beading supplies in your jewelry. How do you bead green? I'm curious to learn about products that are offered by companies who have the environment in mind when they create the products. Please share!
I don't know if this is considered "green" or not but I buy alot of vintage, broken and used pieces to re use in my jewelry...so I guess that you might say I recycle? I find alot of goodies at estate and yard sales as well as Goodwill and Value Village.
Rainy Pacific Northwest
A couple of months ago, I read a story about an organization called
Paper to Pearls (PapertoPearls.org) Women from refugee camps make beads using recycled
paper (catalogs, calendars, books that are collected by the Boyscouts) and sell them to make money for food, clothes and education for
their children... the story moved me so, that I had to get involved. I
have been looking for some way to incorporate the *reduce*reuse*recycle*
concept into my jewelry making... and thought... "this is it!" First,
I ordered a bag of beads. Received them a couple of days later and was
thrilled!! They are gorgeous!! All the colors of the rainbow and just
beautiful... hard to believe they are made of paper... Not only is it a great way to bring the "beading green" into my designs, but a way to help others in need. Soon I will join Paper to Pearls as a collaborative artist so that I can contribute even more to the cause. See some samples in my etsy store http://Valkyree.etsy.com.
Happy Beading to all!
Karen from Valley City, OH
A green project I recently did was for my daughters wedding. My mother had recently passed away and I inherited a set of pearls that I then took apart to make her hair /veil comb and used some of the pearls on that . I then made her a more modern necklace and earrings. Now that the wedding is over I will take those pearls off the comb and make her a bracelet to match and she will have a full set to wear for the rest of her life. Not only was her grandmother a part of her wedding but she can wear her wedding jewelry for other important events in her life.
I also go to flea markets and buy old broken pieces ( you can often get them for a dollar or two !! ) and then do the same thing with those components. Not only is it green but it's cheaper and you can get some amazing pearls and crystal and clasps that they just don't make anymore. Makes really unique pieces . Recycling at it's best !!
I am sorry to say I don't bead very green. I make my own lampwork, and I am fairly certain I am producing a large carbon footprint. I rationalize this as the cost of my art.
What I am less able to rationalize anymore are the human cost of stone beads created in dangerous sweatshop conditions in the Third World. I have largely curtailed my purchasing of stone beads because I cannot handle the thought of workers, including children, being abused in their manufacture. I would be VERY interested in buying humanely-produced stone beads. Vendors?
I just bead. Like the article in todays beading the message was tied to a marketing request, a buy. Most requests for going green originate with teachers and then children beseige their parents. Try askng a 15 year old to take the schoolbus. Green turns ugly.
I just hope to helps some folks stay in business and buy beads from them.
Monica who is not turning the AC off as its is 100+ outside.
I fell in love w/ recycled glass about 3 years ago and I use it often. I have a whole line of "green" necklaces/earrings/braclets that I developed using recycled materials: glass, nuts, seeds, branches as well as found items (bottle lids/game pieces/etc). I find it challenging and fun to incorporate them into my designs.
I do share a concern w/ the manufacturing of stones in third world countries as often the workers are not fairly compensated nor are they given appropriate and safe working conditions. I have started to purchase stones at a store where I know the geologists and the people who are cutting the stones. It is a lot more expensive so I use far less gemstones that I used to but I feel it is the right thing to do. Because of this I have been really fortunate to fall in love w/ more unusual stones and have learned so much about agates and jaspers.
I would love to learn about how to take the plastics we use on a daily basis and incorporate them into projects....I have seen really amazing pieces of art as well as purses and bags made out of recycled plastics and candy wrappers and would love to do more with this. If anyone wants to talk more about this or share ideas please contact me!
I don't look upon either the manufacture or use of glass beads as particularly wasteful. The glass itself is pretty non-polluting. I realize that some metals are used in the process, but I have never seen any comment about these metals being either dangerous or polluting. You probably know more about this than I. But I do suspect that many contemporary glass beads and beaded items will be "discovered" hundreds or thousands of years from now. They will be the artifacts of our generation that will outlast us. I hope that current artists that are making these items are protecting themselves from any heavy metals or other dangers that occur in the making of beads. I hope this makes you feel better about your craft.
I keep meaning to try my hand at making some paper beads out of old magazines, but I haven't yet. The beads I have seen have been gorgeous. I have also seen beautiful beads made from wine or beer bottles as well.
I love using parts of vintage pieces and remaking them into other pieces. You can find such unique supplies that way.
Kim ~ B.B. Bellezza
Another group that makes paper beads is Bead for Life
The Ugandan women in this organization use recycled paper to make really beautiful beads.
Along the lines of recycling.....Does anyone know where I can get rid of the itty-bitty peices of sterling silver wire that are leftover from projects? I'd hate to just throw them away!
Thanks - Kendra
I'm afraid that I tend to use many glass seed beads in my beading and am not sure how 'green' that is. However, in the vein of beading green and satisfying my love of figured wood at the same time I have convinced my husband (who really enjoys working with wood) to develop a line of figured wood pendants - all made from natural wood, many created from scraps he's scavanged from his 'real' job as the designer at a custom cabinet company. Most often the most desirable wood (interestingly shaped and highly figured) for his purposes is exactly the bits that they throw away. His pendants are all shaped, sanded and finished by hand in our garage and I even get to make my own suggestions as to the appropriate shape and/or orientation of the wood in many of the finished pendants.
I do try to recycle. At least half of my stock is "used" beads and components. Garage sales, flea marketsm friends and family, and ebay are good sources.
Also, I try to order from 'fair trade' companies. You can find a list at www.fairtradefederation.org . If you look under "find members" heading you can search for Beads.
Boredom is the feeling that everything is a waste of time; serenity, that nothing is.
-- Thomas Szasz
Sometimes I lie awake at night, and I ask, 'Where have I gone wrong?' Then a voice says to me, 'This is going to take more than one night.' --Charlie Brown
I used recycled pop tabs from aluminum cans to make bags, but you can also use the same technique to make bracelets, headbands, ect.
Check it out on my website:
When choosing to bead green, think about the amount of plastic baggies that are being used.
Reduce them by only taking one - with all your beads, in them from the store.
Reuse them by bringing them to the store. Use them in your own storage.
Recycle them instead of throwing them out, if you have recycling options.
Bring your own shopping bags to the store and say no the the bag. It helps you, the environment and the store owner.
Save the pieces of stringing materials if they are long enough for a different project, even if they aren't long enough for the current one.
Wrap in on a bread tab.
Loop it on your Ott or task lamp
Reuse the tubes the seed beads come in. Bring them back to the store for reuse.
Turn off your Ott/task light when you aren't using it. It saves the life of the lightbulb too.
Hope some of that helps!
My daughter when little had a toy to make beads from paper. I have made a few attemps to use material. Light weight seems to work best. cindy in CA