For awhile now I’ve enjoyed the jewelry-making and blog of Valerie William at Additions. Here is a short interview so you can see why her work resonates with me and the themes of refashioning, renewing, rethinking and redoing through midlife.
Can you tell what she uses to fashion her unique jewelry collection?
Her blog is one place I periodically go for shots of inspiration.
Cate: Valerie, you were a jewelry-maker working with silver before starting “Additions” with its emphasis on jewelry made from Hardware. Tell us more about that switch and how you got started! What was going on in your life that motivated the switch from working with silver?
Valerie: I had worked with sterling silver for over 15 years and I was creating both the jewelry and the components that hold the jewelry together: the chains, ear wires, and clasps. I worked only with wire and sheet metal to create my one-of-a-kind jewelry collection, which was priced between $40 – $350. I enjoyed creating new and original ideas in sterling silver up until last year.
As my daughter reached her teen years and wanted to wear some of my jewelry, I realized that the pieces I made were for older women. I wanted my daughter and her friends to be able to want to wear my jewelry, so I decided to create a new affordable collection with them in mind.
I knew I did not want to go back to where I started– creating bead and wire jewelry; I wanted something new and fresh.
One day, while walking down an aisle in a hardware store, I realized that I could use hardware to create jewelry that looked liked silver, but make a collection that would be affordable for everyone!
Once I realized that hardware was the medium in which I wanted to work, I created a jewelry collection that’s environmentally responsible by getting what I need from a couple of recycling centers that sell hardware. I am thrilled to know I can create my collection and be mindful of the environment as well.
(Cate: Right up my “refashioning” ally!)
Valerie: Working with the hardware has been challenging and rewarding. Challenging, because the hardware is already set in a shape, a shape I can’t change. Due to the limitation of the shape, I find myself being more creative, therefore rewarding!
I started selling the Additions collection online in 2008. Each year I’ve added new designs to the collection and expanded my business. Luckily my family has been supportive as I continue to invest in my business.
Creating the Additions collection has inspired me in so many ways! I love to go to the machine recycling center to find interesting recycled hardware. I have come up with new ways to add texture and color to many types of hardware. Seeing how delighted and happy my customers are helps me realize my hard work is paying off.
That’s why I create this collection, and love getting up every morning to work on my business!
To view and purchase her jewelry click additionsstyle.etsy.com
To read her very enjoyable blog, click additionsstyle.blogspot.com