Upcycling Project Overview
As a way to create my own jewellery because I admire so many bold pieces from the likes of artists like Adina Mills, I started creating my own items. I use old necklaces, rings and bangles I no longer wear or want, and change them into something new.
All of my items have names of strong women, historical, fictional or otherwise, and this is just a fun hobby for me, which I have started to grow very fond of.
- The Lakshmi Necklace
- The Neith Necklace
- The Nujalik Necklace
- The Nerrivik Necklace
- The Curie Necklace
#60 – The Lakshmi Necklace
Named after the Hindu goddess of wealth and good fortune. The wife of Vishnu, she is said to have taken different forms in order to be with him in each of his incarnations. Thus, when he was the dwarf Vamana, she appeared from a lotus and was known as Padma, or Kamala, both of which mean “Lotus”; when he was the ax-wielding Parashurama, the destroyer of the warrior class, she was his wife Dharani; when he was King Rama, she was his queen Sita. In the most widely received account of Lakshmi’s birth, she rose from the churning of the ocean of milk (an important event in Hinduism), seated on a lotus and holding another blossom in her hand. Controversy arose between the gods and demons over possession of her.
You can see why I named it that right? The entire necklace screams wealth and fortune.
I actually broke apart this old Banana Republic statement necklace
And removed all the hanging flowers which I did not think added anything to the necklace (and I could use them for other projects):
Psst! The flowers did end up in one project here, the Antoinette Necklace:
Anyway, I was left with this imposing necklace, so I decided to hang something off it.
I started with the idea of a massive rock:
Then moved on to pyrite instead:
I added two little leftover triangles from another broken necklace, with the rest of its parts making up my Uzume necklace here:
I am not 100% pleased with the way it turned out, I think I need to redo the clay, but that’s okay, I can break it all apart and redo it, but this is the idea:
Although the more I look at it, the more it grows on me.
For now I know this is the right stone for it. But I may redo the clay to be sharper, more of a circle.
#61 – The Neith Necklace
Named after the Egyptian goddess Neith of war and hunting, I think for obvious reasons as the kyanite stone looks like a spear, and the gold necklace is a shield. (She’s represented by crossed arrows and a shield on her head).
Neith as”she is the terrifying one” was an early ancient Egyptian deity who was said to be the first and the prime creator. She was said to be the creator of the universe and all it contains, and she governs how it functions. She was the goddess of wisdom, weaving, the cosmos, mothers, rivers, water, childbirth, hunting, war, and fate. She was a warlike goddess.
There’s not much to write home about. I started off with this idea:
But I didn’t like how the triangle part would be too large compared to the delicate stone.
So I chose another necklace, and just put some clay around the kyanite stone, attached it to the necklace, and then painted it.
I like the mixed metal – silver chain, gold shield, and stone.
#62 – The Nujalik Necklace
I promise, this is another one of my favourites too! Partly for the stone but also the hanging necklace off the bottom.
Named for Nujalik, she is the Inuit goddess for hunting on land.
I had purchased a second duplicate of a necklace I already owned, and broke it apart:
And the minute I put these pieces together, I knew they had to go together:
I spent time shaping the piece:
And it turned out just as I wanted, with the stone right in the middle, with a border. I played around with the paint this time, adding gold AND BRONZE at the bottom for some interested, and bright flashes of green:
I may need to get more of these dark amethyst stones…
#63 – The Nerrivik Necklace
Named for the Inuit goddess Nerrivik was the sea-mother and provider of food for the Inuit people. She was the patron of fisherman and hunters. In Canada, she was known as either Sedna or Arnapkapfaaluk and in Greenland, she was Arnakuagsak.
I knew I wanted to make the stone the star and it wasn’t until I added the row of bent beads on top that it came alive:
The backing to hold the beads in place:
And then I decided to haphazardly paint it with colours of the earth, stone and sea, all mixed up together to also mimic the changing colours of the beads on top of the stone:
I also like the usage of an old (simple) pendant from a brand called Tashi to hang off the bottom that mimics the palm stone.
#64 – The Curie Necklace
This one felt really bold, and I think it is best represented by Marie Curie; as the first of the Curie family legacy of five Nobel Prizes, she was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the first and the only woman to win the Nobel Prize twice, and the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two scientific fields. She was the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris in 1906.
I need to tailor in this gold brocade jacket but it made me think of this necklace. I actually had a hard time trying to figure out what to do with this necklace.
I even considered putting it in this orientation because I wasn’t sure how else I would get the stone to “fit”
I eventually settled on this:
And I like how off center it is, and quirky, I just think I may get a necklace that is longer so it sits a bit lower….
I painted it yellow and gold:
And I think I am pretty happy with the way it turned out. I am not above perhaps breaking it all apart in the future and redoing the stone another way if I feel like it.
Little Bun decorated the back with the scoring and the paint:
And he added the splashes of white:
I think I do need it to go longer, to the middle of my chest.
STUFF I USED
I used this because I researched everywhere, and it seems like the Professional version is the most versatile of all of them. They have other versions like Soft, and so on, and another brand called Sculpey, but I wanted something that wouldn’t crumble, be strong, and stay solid, and this one seems to hit all of those points based on what I read.
I picked up black, navy blue and champagne for my next round, as colours for clay. I can always change the colours afterwards, but it is better to have a background that is already coloured rather than white, to make my life easier. It’s also easier to have a gold wash on the clay for colour and styling it.
These paints are great. I use them for everything, and I have a whole range of colours. I need more metallic paint however, I am seeing that I will use more of it in future projects.
I also have vintage and old thrifted chains to upcycle that I added to the necklaces and so on.
Statement stones and so on
I hunted a few on eBay and Etsy, and looked for items 3″ – 4″ because I wanted a really BIG statement rock for my pieces but they are quite… expensive, around $30 – $60 per stone, as people use them for healing/chakras, and tend to pay a lot.
The smaller rocks are okay, but you need to add way more clay to make it a bigger statement piece as a result. I am trying a few suppliers but haven’t found any that is “cheap” and of high quality yet. I will share when I do. I have been disappointed in a lot of them so far.
“How do you make them“
I also have a video on it here:
“Are the pieces heavy?“
No. It’s mostly clay you see which is super light. What’s heavy is if the stone is large or if the chains are heavy.
“You’ve ruined the stone with so much plaster“
To each their own. You say ‘ruined’, I say ‘made into art’.
(I literally got this in a comment on the video I did). Also, how do you expect me to put the stone on a chain without plaster to hold it in? I mean.. it’s just not possible.
The chain needs to be on there with a lot of plaster or else it snaps off because there isn’t enough support to hold it on to the stone. Basic jewellery making 101.
“Are you going to sell any of them?“
They’re all kind of like my babies at this point. I mean, I’ve worked hard on them, I’ve painted them, I’ve named them. I don’t know how people sell their creations.
I guess I could make MORE of the same ones that are easy to find in the same stones (simple shapes in quartz), but each one is in the end, quite unique as even some of the chains are vintage or out of stock, or just old pieces from thrifting hunts, or artisans who are no longer selling their work.