Conserving Precious Resources
Jewelers have always recycled. The metals we work with are precious, we save every shaving and dust particle and refine it to use it again. In my studio, I melt down my own scrap metal to create wire and sheet metal in the traditional way. I buy additional Sterling Silver and Gold from suppliers who certify their metals to be 100% recycled. In 2012 I became a member of Ethical Metalsmiths These choices are my small contribution to reducing the impact metal crafting has on our environment.
I seek out gems with attractive and unusual color and character for my designs. I am also concerned about where they come from and how they are extracted from the earth. My choice is to source as much as I can locally. I buy from small mining operations so I know the impact they have on the environment is minimal. I also repurpose gems from estate and vintage jewelry. I believe in supporting small businesses that contribute to their communities.
But the pearls I use are not local: they are cultured in China, Mexico and the South Seas. I choose pearls not only for their delicate beauty but their role as a renewable resource. The shellfish that produce pearls are an indicator species that respond to the health of our environment. Pearl farming increases biodiversity and helps to replace extractive fishing. In this way, pearls have a positive impact on the health of the ocean and wearing them is a tribute to the intricate marine ecosystem.