Lydia Cooper's latest jewellery range is a creative example of 'upcycling'. Upcycling is the process of converting old or discarded materials into something useful, and, in many cases, aesthetically beautiful. The concept is not a new one. Some of the finest examples of upcycling came from the 1930's and 40's, when families with few resources had no choice but to re-purpose old items. Today, the biggest reason for the rebirth of upcycling is the positive impact it has on our ailing environment. Things that would have been destined for the dump, are now being fashioned into something entirely new. It is also a wonderful way to get creative.
And Lydia is no stranger to the world of creativity. A long-time resident of the Garden Route, Lydia began her career as a commercial artist, painting decorative murals for a diverse clientèle. Later she moved into the Graphic Design field and spent many years building and designing websites. More recently however, in an effort to move away from the world of technology, she has embarked on crafting this unique range of jewellery. “I realised that I am at my happiest when working with my hands”, says Lydia, “I put a lot of love and effort into each piece and no two items are alike”.
Lydia uses a variety of different materials, both new and old. She takes discarded electrical cables and uses the copper wire within for many of her pieces. She makes her own range of beads using cotton and the pages of old magazines. She also scours second hand shops for antique beads. She sources seed pods, glass and wooden beads and combines these to make one off original bracelets and necklaces. She is constantly inspired by the myriad possibilities of turning the old into something new!
Lydia is planning to trade this season at the various local markets and next year hopes to showcase her range at some of the festivals in the region.
Lydia welcomes all commissions. Contact: 073 072 2303