by RENEE PATRICK Cascade A&E Editor
What do feathers old bike tires have in common? No, it’s not a joke or a trick question, Tiina McDermott of Indiekulture has started making jewelry out of recycled bike tires inner tubes – her feather earrings becoming a recognizable item in the collection. McDermott a number of other jewelry designers in the Bend area have been getting creative with old or discarded items to give them new life with fun fashionable results.
McDermott started creating her bike-tube jewelry after a friend dropped off a pile of inner tubes, thinking her crafty nature would be able to put them to good use. “I did research on people doing things with bike tires, after a month of experimenting had friends telling me ‘I was on to something,’” McDermott said.
Using snaps, stamps old rhinestones, McDermott creates bracelets, cuffs, belts, earrings, necklaces, chokers, rings more. The old tread from bike motorcycle tires create burly belts, she has found ways of fashioning the inner tubes into leaves, feathers, owls even flowers.
McDermott often looks to leather artists for inspiration, she would like to start sewing the inner tubes has ideas to play with designs for a bathing suit, tube tops h bags. “I get thrilled looking at other people’s stuff am floored by the creativity of people out there. I get ideas from Vogue, Cosmo wackiness, Esty whatever is far-out.”
Indiekulture was named after McDermott’s one-year-old daughter, Indie, “She has inspired the name the bigger reason to reduce reuse! I enjoy recycling creating beautifulness from something that could be know as ‘trash’…….shhhhhhh it’s not. It’s known as Indiekulture.”
The new mother jumped into the recycled fashion world with a booth at December’s Rubbish Renewed Eco Fashion Show, most recently, created her own trunk show which also featured recycled jewelry from Potosi, a collaboration between Liz Burum Bill Leppert.
Potosi, was a product of happenstance. Burum, a local painter mural artist, was visiting Leppert, an acoustic electric guitar h crafter, when she noticed his pile of scrap metal; discovering Leppert recycled the pieces when they were too small for his purposes, she asked if he would be able to cut some pieces for her to paint on – perfect for h crafted jewelry.
Both artists are excited about the new venture; with the tools (including a plasma cutter) Leppert has at his disposal Burum’s passion for painting, possibilities for a unique new line of jewelry are endless.
Rescue Consignment is the hub for many upcycled jewelry creations. The west side boutique carries recycled lines from Montana, Bab’s Designs, Gr ma’s Booty Elumjoy. Montana, the venture of Lindsey Rogers, uses found rocks, sculls recycled chains to create her funky creations. Nicole Davison Dickson integrates feathers wire wrapping to make earrings other accessories for Bab’s Designs, Natalie Skeen creates necklaces from re-purposed items for Elumjoy.
Gr ma’s Booty, the appropriately named line of upcycled costume jewelry from Linda Quon Andie Desha, gives a modern look to old treasures. Quon started modifying old pieces of family costume jewelry when she was growing up, “I got the courage to start cutting bending a few of them giving them as gifts to other family members, it was kind of sentimental meaningful they made cool pieces,” said Quon.
When she moved to Bend seven years ago, Quon started visiting estate sales thrift shops to find her booty. Desha began to buy pieces for Quon as well, before long the two of them were both creating contemporary recycled jewelry. Their line can be found at Rescue, Vanilla Urban Threads, Kaleidoscope, Casarama, Urban Beauty Bar at the Weekend Trunk Show.
Indiekulture can be found at the River Side Market Rescue as well on etsy at: www.etsy.com/people/IndieKulture, email@example.com.