Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Today, with metal prices soaring, jewelry artisans can’t afford to ignore the scrap that they generate at the bench. By carefully fitting and measuring, jewelers try to create as little scrap as possible, but there is always something left over. The first option is to send scrap to the refiner to be melted down and recreated as wire and sheet, recyling it to a usable form once more.

We often reduce scrap ourselves by using tools such as drawing plates and rolling mills to make finer (and longer) wire or sheet.

But, it is always fun to try to work broken and unused pieces into other work. Thus, we reuse our scrap into other jewelry. This pair of earrings was created with a pair of copper shields cut from half a copper disk left over from a previous project. A broken ring with a leaf and grape motif provided a beautifully contrasting sterling focal point. Once they were soldered together, a pair of earwires created from 20 gauge wire left over from a beading project made an elegant finish.

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