string theory

Some months ago I read about how a charity raised funds by selling guitar strings donated by famous musicians. It was suggested that the guitar strings be recycled into jewelry. In effect you’d be literally wearing your idol’s music.

A musician friend sent me some used strings and I took them to The Bead Shop at Rockwell Mall today to have them turned into something I could wear.

At first the TBS crafters hemmed and hawed – they weren’t sure how to do it, they said, it was the first such request they’d ever received, they were afraid they would spoil the strings. I asked them to use millefiori beads and put latches on the end without cutting off any length as I wanted to preserve the strings in their entirety as much as possible, and suggested they loop the strings several times around, letting the beads run loose.

That got them a bit more agitated, but I told them to let their creativity flow. I left them to it and picked up the items after a couple of hours.

And very pleased I am with the results.

My musician friend sent six strings, two of which were plain. I’m reserving them for something else. The four ridged strings were more ┬ásuited to this purpose, the ridges adding texture and and visual interest. As for the beads, I adore millefiori. The patterns of the canes are beautiful because no two are ever alike. The beads are unconfined and roll along the strings, pulled hither and yon by gravity or my own movements, like wandering stars travelling random orbits.

The TBS crafters used fewer beads on the chokers, but the simplicity appealed to me. Knots placed half an inch after the beads prevent them from sliding around like those on the bracelets do.

Because of my instruction not to cut the strings, the crafters found an ingenious way to fasten the latches on.

Guitar strings as jewelry – can you call them eco-art? Junk recycled into accessories? It’s certainly a way to reduce-reuse-recycle. It’s also inexpensive – it cost less than US$9 for the beads, latches, and labor to create these four pieces.

On a metaphysical level, this is a way to wear close to your skin an object that belonged to another individual and in doing so perhaps some of his or her mana or chi imbued into that object may be transferred to you. Or so the shamans say. Certainly making music is a sort of magic. It is also simply a way of having close to you, in the form of wearable art, something that belonged to someone special.

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2 Comments on string theory

  1. JoniB
    25 December 2010 at 1:55 am (2790 days ago)

    Beautiful! And an ingenius idea! Kudos to the jewelry makers for their creative solutions, too.

  2. Bea
    25 December 2010 at 9:35 pm (2789 days ago)

    Cool! Those are really nice accessories ha!

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