Michelle Gamby-Scott is a Fisheries Biologist/Port Agent with NOAA. http://Seashellscreations.etsy.com
In an age where everything is fast food, Wi-Fi, smart phones, disposable this and that, at what point do we say “STOP!” We have become a fast paced, no time to do anything, hurry up and get on to the next thing on the list--society. Texts and emails have replaced hand written thank you notes and letters. Where it is easier to just “buy another one, or a new one” then to fix up or “make over” something that you already have. With the economy the way it is today, well paying jobs are few and far between. In my opinion, I think there will be an increasing trend of recycling and upcycling things that a family or individual already has. Paychecks are shrinking, and prices on everything from food to gas are increasing as well. It’s time to go back to our roots and provide for ourselves, to find new uses for old things.
Since I was a kid, I have always tried to reinvent something that I already had. Raised in the country with limited numbers of kids to play with, I learned at an early age to be creative and come up with new things to occupy my time. This mindset has carried over into my jewelry designs and how I look at every day items. I have been able to mix my love of the ocean, recycling/upcycling everyday materials, and creating one of a kind unique jewelry in my Etsy Shop SeaShell’s Creations.
I have “junk jewelry” given to me all the time, or broken jewelry that friends or family don’t want to bother fixing. These are the things that I love to use the most. Taking something old and turning it into something new. People are amazed at some of the things I come up with, and usually want their jewelry back after they see what I have made. I enjoy walking my local beaches looking for materials and have made things out of beach trash, shells, driftwood and stones. I try to incorporate as many natural elements as possible.
I don’t just limit my recycling practices to jewelry, I also make paper goods from recycled materials such as; books, calendars, catalogs, dictionaries, posters, maps, etc. I repurpose furniture as well. If I see something I think is cool, I hang on to it until I think of something to make out of it.
To me, recycling, reusing, and repurposing things is becoming part our lives more and more. As resources are depleted, we will have no choice but to do so, with growing financial restraints on families they will be forced into this practice whether they like it or not, to extend the life of the things they already have.
There are thousands of artists that utilize disregarded materials in their work every day. I like to make beautiful things for a reasonable price that also benefits our environment. There is beauty in everything, and I think my designs support that. Someone else’s trash truly is my treasure!! Below are some photos of things that I have made with a brief description and the materials used.