The first jewellery we know about was made from found objects. 40,000 years ago humankind started to find things they thought were interesting and beautiful and adorning themselves with them, bones, seashells and even ostrich shells were strung on a string and hung around their neck.
Come back to the present day and we still use these things in jewellery, along with the more conventional materials. I have seen feathers strung on driftwood, leave pressed into precious metal clay and seashells cast in resin. Nature provides us with beauty and the instinct to adorn ourselves in these wonderful items is still strong.
These days though we do not just have to rely on nature to provide and the desire for people to stand out from the crowd with something a little different has never gone away. If it exists chances are someone has made some jewellery out of it.
There is another thing that has spurred the resurgence in using found objects and that is a awareness of the wasteful society that we live in. People are constantly looking for ways to reduce waste and recycle, why nor turn it into something beautiful. This has turned into businesses for people. Nespressso capsules turned into elaborate necklaces, plastic take away containers being used to support the inside of heavy beadwork and, a personal favourite, beaded bracelets made out of ocean plastic. These are the kind of things people are happy to get behind.
I have found a love for this recycling of materials and adapted into my style. I love steampunk, that is no secret, and the use of brass casings from a firing range not only allows them to recycle, but fits in perfectly with this aesthetic and also makes for a great post-apocalyptic look. Taking apart old cameras and other bits of technology work perfectly together to give a cyberpunk/futuristic feel.
As I have mentioned before I make a lot of jewellery for people that wear costumes. Steampunks and LARPers are part of that mix, this means I get to use these wonderful materials, play with my own style and create something truly unique.
So whatever your style I am sure there is someone making jewellery out of those unexpected things that are just lying around, those items society had tossed to the curb, and given them new life and beauty.