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Recycled Cycle Jewelry

Like the team at Classified Moto, there are people out there who feel the need to take that which is old and make it new again by re-imagining what things could be, and not being content to leave them as what they once were.

Kathleen Nowak Tucci, began making recycled rubber jewelry in 2009 and her creations are starting to take off with the art world.

“I was named the 2012 Niche Award Winner in Fashion Jewelry for the Penelope Bracelet,” Tucci said. “The bracelet is made out of recycled Harley-Davidson motorcycle inner tubes and extruded rubber, and my work was on the cover of the last issue of Metal Clay Artist magazine . There was an interior five-page feature of my work. The cover image is made with metal clay and recycled Harley-Davidson motorcycle inner tubes.”

You can, if you or a lady friend qualify as Harley-Davidson fetishists, visit Tucci’s Facebook fan page here.

Though it was the properties of the recycled material that first drew her to create architectural jewelry in rubber, she says her vision began to come together when her home base on the Gulf Coast was hammered with the Gulf Oil Spill.

Tucci says she was moved by the devastation of that event and began to see relevance of her work more clearly as that of an eco-artist and eco-designer. But it was the fact that, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, transportation needs in this country create some 290 million scrap tires which made her consider what could be done to reuse what is essentially a scrap item.  Rubber tires don’t biodegrade easily – and they’re recycled on sparingly – those tires usually wind up discarded in landfills throughout the country.

Tucci says there was a practical element to her choice as well. Rubber is easily manipulated, so she acquired some recycled bicycle inner tubes, and that led to the Harley pieces after she returned to the pile of rubber one day and began to ‘play’ with it.

“Strips of inner tubes wait to be connected together along with other shapes, circles triangles or flowers,” Tucci said. “I like to have many parts pre-cut out ready for whatever combination strikes my fancy.”

Tucci isn’t resting on her recent laurels, though, she just got back from Fashion Week in New York after unveiling her latest work.

“I debuted my new collection that now includes recycled twisted stainless-steel brake cables from bicycles,” Tucci said. “It was a very successful show and I’m hard at work filling orders.”

 

Harley inner tube bracelet

Photographer: James Amerson Model: Camille Dauchez

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