In most cases, old silverware, metal trinket and even old credit cards would be tossed out and find their way to a landfill.
But where most people see trash, artist Natalie Sirois envisions stunning jewelry and wearable art.
“I want to help with the planet in some way, so that we stop just throwing things away,” Sirois said. “I’m always trying to figure out ways to do something so that I’m not putting stuff in the landfill.”
The artist, who resides on the northwest side of Indianapolis, has been immersed in art throughout her life. Her creative spirit led her to upcycling old silverware to turn into pendants, broaches, necklaces, rings and other types of jewelry.
Sirois’ most recent endeavor is using old credit cards and gift cards to make unique earrings and wearable art.
Since she doesn’t know when inspiration will hit her, she collects as many items as she can find for use in future projects.
“I’m always saving. I don’t know what I’m going to do with it, but I’m going to do something. It will be one of those things where I go into my studio and stand in the midst of all of my stuff,” she said. “Some days, the creative juices are just coming out, and you look at something and try something.”
Much of her work is trial and error. Sirois will research online, looking for ways that a particular item has been reused in a unique way. Often, she’ll play around with different pieces until the jewelry stands out the way she wants.
Sirois has a group of good friends that share their crafty ideas with her, and she relies on them for feedback and inspiration.
“I take whatever they see and try to make it happen. Sometimes, they’re the creative part and I’m the do-it part,” she said.
One of the most rewarding aspects of Sirois’ work is when she connects with a client with a special antique piece of silverware or broken jewelry — items that have great sentimental meaning but aren’t functional anymore — and makes something new for them.
“I turn those into jewelry pieces that they can have and actually wear, so it’s not just something sitting in a closet,” she said. “They still get the meaning, and can feel good when they’re wearing it.”
Home: Northwest Indianapolis
Focus: Recycling silverware, old credit cards and gift cards into necklaces, pendants, earrings and other wearable art. She also refurbishes keepsakes into new jewelry