Pre-teen girls love their bling and Gina Tombleson started making jewelry at age 12. In the past four years she began to play with bicycle inner tubes! For years Gina had made real feather earrings that were super fun and very pretty. But lots of folks were making feather earrings and creating a pair that stood out from the rest wasn’t the challenge she was looking for.
Gina explains, “Jewelry supplies can be expensive and were not always easily attainable when I lived rurally. In the days before ordering from Amazon, I often had to make do with whatever I already had in my art studio. If I wanted something different to work with I would get creative by taking something apart and reusing its components in a new and resourceful way.
“I saw that some folks were using bicycle inner tubes, cutting them into all sorts of shapes and sizes, and then making them into clothing and jewelry. I thought that inner tubes would be such a fun medium to work with, and the idea of using something that is trash, and that I probably already had, somewhere at my house, was right up my alley.
“So I found an old blown out inner tube in a box in my garage, grabbed a pair of scissors, and practiced cutting it up to look like the feathers I had imagined in my mind. It didn’t take long before I added paint to make them even more delightful!”
Gina loves being able to tell folks who are trying on the earrings what they are made from, because it always elicits such a pleasantly surprised smile. Using reclaimed materials challenges her to imagine how to be clever in previously unconsidered ways. And who doesn’t love repurposing something old? It is super satisfying knowing that what are now lovely earrings were once destined for the landfill!
Gina Tombleson and Consiously Crafted Jewelry are located at Table 37.