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Radical Jewelry Makeover on USA Projects

Ethical Metalsmiths Susie Ganch and Christina Miller have a fundraising campaign on the United States Artists Projects site to support their next Radical Jewelry Makeover, set for October in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Susie is a former Penland resident artist, and she and Christina have taught the Radical Jewelry Makeover workshop here before, in summer 2009 – it was fantastic! The premise is simple: the Makeover class teaches and encourages jewelers to source their gold, gemstones, and other precious materials from pre-existing jewelery, recycling damaged and out-of-fashion pieces into radical new creations and avoiding the use of newly-mined materials, which are frequently extracted from the earth by expensive, environmentally degrading, and politically unsavory means. And it produces some pretty cool jewelry, too.

From their project proposal:

“Radical Jewelry Makeover (RJM) is an international community jewelry mining and recycling project that draws attention to the creativity and skills of local jewelry designers, reveals the stories behind our personal collections and encourages re-consideration of our habits of consumption….. Today, materials used in jewelry production are sourced from some of the poorest countries in the world, from sacred lands and disputed territories, and at a great cost to the environment. In New Mexico, RJM will raise awareness of these material sourcing issues while teaching solution driven design strategies. It will bring together volunteer “miners,” people who dig out and donate their old jewelry, with volunteer jewelers and students, working together as refiners and designers to collaborate on an exhibition of re-made jewelry”

As with all USA Projects, to receive any funding, they must meet their goal by a self-chosen deadline – May 1st in this case. If you’d like to read Susie and Christina’s full proposal, watch their video, and consider supporting the project, click here to visit their USA Projects page.

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