I always enjoy hunting for vintage findings, brooches, earrings and other jewelry parts to use in my one-of-a-kind necklaces. I have noticed that through the years, the use of existing jewelry in the making of my own jewelry has shaped my creative process. Instead of starting with a clear idea of what I want to do, I look for a piece of jewelry, a stone, a bead or a fabric swatch that will tickle my inspiration. I usually build a necklace around the jewelry piece that I feel inspired by. Sometimes that piece doesn’t even remain in the necklace : that’s ok. It doesn’t have to. It inspired me and maybe that was its only job.
I now buy a lot of vintage jewelry online because it’s easier. I can look for a specific color or shape I wish to use. I used to go to garage sales, flea markets and church sales hoping to find a nice piece of jewelry but I got lazy and now shop from the comfort of my home.
I have collected a nice selection of vintage findings. Some were given to me by generous people. Once, a lady who worked her whole life as a costume designer and had just retired came to my studio and dropped me tons of millinery flowers, vintage earrings, brooches and feathers. I made the Moulin rouge necklace, using a lot of the things she gave me :
Today I thought I would open some of my drawers to show you some of my vintage jewelry findings :
I have recently started to use vintage millinery flowers in my jewelry. I am fascinated by the details and the beauty of these flowers and they remind me of those movies I have seen of Coco Chanel making hats :
I use those gorgeous vintage flower branches in the Marika necklace :
These days I have been working on a new one-of-a-kind necklace, using a few different vintage findings, along with stones and silk.This necklace has given me a very hard time, made me doubt myself at times and required a lot of patience and stamina. But I think I have finally come to a design I love (I still need to give it a few finishing touches…) :