Upcycled or Recycled?

Recycled Jewelry is actually a very common practice in the adornment industry.  Steampunk, Bottle Cap, Sea Glass, are only a few examples.  As an Art Jeweler, I am designing with upcycling in mind rather than recycling.  I am constantly looking at “items” in awe as to the beauty, design quality, texture or uniqueness wondering how I can incorporate that item into a piece of quality jewelry that will make it one-of-a-kind. 

You never know what you will find stashed away in my studio.  One day I was walking across a lawn and saw this amazing bark that had blown off the trees.  Yep, you are right – I gathered all I could hold and took it home to add to my stash.  The frog in my “Puddle Jumping” necklace is sitting on some of that bark and the frog is a vintage counterweight that was used to weigh African trading beads.

Another item that ended up in my studio stash was a bag of vintage watch and clock parts.  When I looked at these parts all I saw were necklaces and earrings.  Hence my newest pieces, “Renewed Time”, which will be in this month’s Upcycled Group Show.

Silk yarn created from recycled saris, leather from a discarded bag, antler sheds found in the wild, a unique pod from a plant all add interest and will eventually end up in one of my jewelry designs.

My artistic creativity is continually being challenged to UPCYCLE rather than recycle and the end results are always exciting.





Debbie Valline is an Art Jeweler designing and creating one-of-a-kind jewelry. Debbie lives in Riverton, Utah with, Jim, her wonderfully supportive husband.  Debbie is proud to be a participating artist in Local Colors of Utah Fine Art Gallery.