When you’re bored with your wardrobe, consider buying a piece of jewelry that will make your old clothes seem new.
Grants Pass jewelry designer Maria Sparks has mastered the concept of old-to-new. Droves of Art in Bloom revelers patronized her stand at downtown Medford’s annual spring festival last weekend to fawn over necklaces made out of antique women’s wrist watch movements. I was among them.
This jewelry was made to fascinate. I could have spent hours just examining the jewelry’s details, trying to guess which parts came from separate pieces and their time period.
One of the necklaces, which cost $59, depicted a bumble bee made of detailed silver with the body of an industrial Steampunk. Constructed out of the movements of an antique pocket watch, the bee’s body appeared to be a working machine. See the necklace here.
What I love about Sparks’ pieces is not only their ability to fascinate but also the fact that they’re made of reused items, parts that otherwise might not have had any use and were otherwise destined for a landfill. Not to mention that the pieces are made by locals, contributing to our local economy.
Sparks shared her stand with jewelry designer Mystique Jaramillo who crafts some layered necklaces out of antique jewelry.
Layered necklaces and bib necklaces are both popular right now and can give a new character to your basic pieces, but beware of adding them to garments that are already embellished. You could end up looking like a notions rack. Steer clear of ruffles, complicated necklines or busy prints.
You can find Sparks and Jaramillo and their art at the Grants Pass Growers Market from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays at the corner of 4th and F streets.
Their jewelry also is available on a fantastic website, where you also can find unique accessories made by other artisans: etsy.com