Vintage jewellery… why I choose to give it a new life

  il_570xN.869488957_ag4v   I love vintage items.  And I love recycled items.  I love the thought that these items had a life before they came into my possession and I often wonder what that life entailed.  I know that a lot of the sterling silver I use is recycled from old jewellery and film negatives.  Where did that jewellery come from and who owned it?  Were there some cool photos on those negatives?  And the cabochons I use are vintage pieces, some have been used previously and others have just been sitting in a collection and were never used.  I often wonder why the unused pieces were never turned into beautiful jewellery. We have become such a throw-away society, an "I can buy it cheaper" society, a society that seems happier to buy mass produced without a thought for our environment, our health or the conditions that those who are mass producing our goods are working in.  To me, it is a lot more satisfying to buy a vintage piece and give it a new life or buy something that has been recycled and not added to a landfill. The people that came before us had a grace, a class, an elegance that we seem to lack these days.  Their jewellery and the way they wore it showed how important their appearance was to them and it showed you could still look classy even if you were not well off.  Many ladies had their good pieces for going out or wearing to church and their everyday pieces that along with their hats and gloves they would not leave the house without them.  As Lisa Freemont (Grace Kelly) says in Alfred Hitchcock's Rear Window " A woman never goes anywhere but the hospital without packing makeup, clothes, and jewellery".  I like to think that some women still live by this adage and put on their 'good' jewellery whenever they leave the house. il_570xN.857610960_f4x9 You can buy vintage jewellery at second-hand stores, markets, antique stores and online and I love that you can pick up a piece for a few dollars as well as a few hundred.  For me, the joy is in buying broken jewellery or elements of jewellery that were never used and put them into new settings, therefore giving them a life they may never have had.  On some occasions, I can find a vintage setting that fits with a vintage cabochon from another piece, however, this isn't always possible so I make a new setting from recycled sterling silver.  I have to admit I love sterling silver so I work with it often.  I could purchase reproductions of settings but I find that many of these are cast or stamped from brass and then silver plated and an antiquing medium applied and this concerns me because I don't know where they originated from.  If I know a small business has created them I can find out about the methods however many pieces are mass produced and this is not what I want for my jewellery. I recently purchased a sweet cameo cabochon from the 1930's.  She is super gorgeous and showed signs of being loved before which is just magical.  She didn't have a setting so I am creating one for her so that she can start a brand new life rather than being discarded because she isn't shiny and new. il_570xN.841765052_400u Do you have a vintage piece of jewellery that you love to bits? ~ Leanne

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