From trash to treasure: one artist's journey from the scrap yard to jewelry

by Latricia Thomas

Friday, March 3rd 2017

Alex Nelson was working as a high school Spanish teacher when she realized something was missing. And one day, in an unlikely place, her brother's scrap yard... "I was looking through the metals I was like I know I can do something with this."

That "something" evolved into her business, The Spun collection. Necklaces, earrings and bracelets that start out as a silenced, discarded musical instrument or a chandalier left abandoned on the side of the road. Pieces of brass and copper thrown away by previous owners, made new again with a few tools and a lot of style.

Nelson's signature look requires a chemical reaction. The Patina-ed pieces are mixed and matched and molded into pieces that carry a story of where they came from. "You can't recreate that those are the things I cherish," Nelson says.

It's this artist's favorite part of what she does, turning something many think is useless into a thing of beauty. "One man's trash is another woman's treasure."



MAY 15, 2018

Please don’t jump ship, loyal readers. No…I am not abandoning my interior design pursuits to become a fashion blogger (I enjoy wine and spaghetti way too much to maintain a frame conducive for that). But,  I am going to interrupt my typically scheduled decor content to share some gorgeous, hand-crafted jewelry with you today made by a beloved childhood friend of mine, Alexandra Layne of Spun Jewelry.

Actually,  it is quite ironic that Alex and I  recently reconnected at a marketing event, because one of the most common questions I receive from new followers, aside from rug and paint color inquiries,  is about my statement jewelry -despite the fact that my blog is primarily geared at home improvement and interior styling. So, if you have been in pursuit of unique jewelry with a boho-inspired aesthetic, look no further than Spun. This jewelry is just about as unique as it gets.

Made from recycled ferrous and non-ferrous metals, Spun employs eco-friendly practices by re-purposing used items such as chandeliers, drum cymbals, and other metal hardware. Each beautifully crafted piece of jewelry is one-of-a-kind and derived from  copper, brass, aluminum, titanium, or stainless steel. In fact, Alex is currently in the process of fashioning a jewelry line from this solid brass,  Mid-Century Modern chandelier pictured below. How effing cool is that?!

From a distance, the adornments appear to be turquoise stones, but at closer inspection you can see the incredible patina which is what gives the metal pieces their mesmerizing color.

As you can see, I am pretty obsessed (I basically own her entire collection). Not only is her work eco-friendly and unique, it truly goes with every garment I own.  What I love most is that I  can incorporate the statement pieces into both casual and more formal outfits alike.I love how this stunner of a necklace transforms a boring, black dress into an outfit worthy for a goddess.

For those of you living in the Southeastern region of the US, Alexandra’s jewelry is now available at local retail chains like SouthEastern Salvage..

I am so proud of you, Alex. I see how hard you hustle, and you deserve to be recognized for the beautiful work you create.

It is truly inspiring to see women excelling at their passion- taking risks and seeing their vision come into fruition. Speaking from first-hand experience, following your dreams can be a lonely roller-coaster of a ride, but a journey well worth the fight.

Now get out there and design some good vibes. Please also be sure to spread the love and Pin…. (Social sharing is one of the best ways to support small business owners!!)