living1Boho-chic jewelry designers get their inspiration from the most unexpected places.

By Leslie Turk

PeacockPearls2A free spirit with anchors to the past.

That’s how jewelry designer Deidre Anne Froelich of Gypset Honey describes her distinctive accessory line — fashioned of finds that come from estate sales, flea markets, antique shops and any other place she thinks might offer a unique twist on the past. Froelich turns them into treasures, repurposing them to create today’s hottest looks.

A spent bullet casing as the foundation for a trendy necklace? That’s just what this native Texan did for one particular piece — pictured above and available at Hemline for $80. She personally collected shell casings from a shooting range, adding a crystal projectile to the brass case. It’s the perfect piece for anyone looking to create a boho-chic look, says Hemline Manager Stephanie Theriot, and stacks well with similar artistic creations, like designer Vanessa Mooney’s $44 turquoise spike (also pictured).

braceletsSo we’ve established that spent bullet casings can be unexpectedly cool. How about guitar strings? Noami Celestin will easily convince you they’re worth salvaging. The New Orleans native and former development director at the Acadiana Center for the Arts splits her time between Lafayette and New Orleans, where she creates jewelry from broken guitar strings. In January she launched ReStrung, fusing her passion for art and music into one-of-a-kind jewelry designs.

Much to her surprise, the company took off so quickly that Celestin stopped taking new clients at her a web development firm, NOLA Design Studio.

She got the idea when a friend who had a collection of guitar strings hanging from a hook on his wall offered them to her, suggesting she might create something out of them.

jewelryCelestin remembered reading about an artist who was creating necklaces from used guitar strings, so she decided to try it. Her first three pairs of earrings sold on Etsy the same day she put them up. “Two of the pieces sold within 10 minutes,” she says. “I think it was coincidence, but it was great.”

She quickly realized that she wouldn’t even have to buy the materials; she could use broken guitar strings. Celestin comes from a family of musicians and has lots of friends in the music business, hence an endless supply of materials. “I take anything,” Celestin says, “mandolin strings, banjo strings.” Now part of a full line of accessories incorporating ethically sourced semi-precious stones and beads and fresh-water pearls, the pieces range from $15 to $100 and are available in four retail stores in New Orleans. They will soon be offered in Lafayette at Mixology Interiors & Art, which opens in mid-August in the Oil Center Gardens. (What’s especially cool about Celestin’s company is that she donates 5 percent of her profits to The New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation.)

A new wave of jewelry designers employs a wide array of recycled materials, from used guitar strings (above, by local designer Naomi Celestin) to spent bullet casings.

Endless are the possibilities for wearing these recycled pieces to accessorize this fall’s free-spirited look, which continues to draw on bohemian and hippie influences. “They can be paired with anything from a T-shirt to a vest or sweater,” Theriot says. “They’re going to pair well with leather and suede, which are another big thing this year.”

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