Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Upcycling? Recycling? Which am I doing????

I'm not sure what the exact title of this post should be, because I'm not sure what I'm doing!  I am "re-using" some things in a different way so I suppose it's both.  I'll start at the beginning!  Below you see my work bench - excuse the mess.

 The last time I made glass beads (months ago), I noticed that the sheet metal that was applied to my wood table was coming up at the seam where hot glass generally flies.

 You can see that it's right under my torch, and was going to continue to happen.  I didn't want the table to get totally ruined because it has some sentimental value - it was my grandmother's kitchen table!  Also, I was concerned that at some point, a hot enough piece of glass might start the table on fire...

 So my boyfriend made me a table top out of wood, and he covered it with ceramic tile.

 Ever the professional, he couldn't let it go without adding a little finishing detail!  He's just like that!

 When he was finished with the edge, he had a few pieces of this small square tile left.  They were sitting on another table of mine, and I just couldn't help but think I could do something creative with them, other than mosaic.  I guess this is the upcycling part.

 That's when I thought about using them for a pendant.  I really like the color combination and even though they aren't using any of my own beads as the pendant, it would be my creation.  So, how to connect them?
 Since my boyfriend is a general contractor, when I am out on jobs with him and we are doing electrical work, I get all the leftover copper wire!  This is probably 14 gauge copper wire (I think) and I think this might be my answer.  So this would be the recycling part.

I'm going to try and flatten the wire, and use it on the back of the tiles to connect them.  I think I'll texture the wire, use E6000 to glue them together, and have a little bit of the wire showing between the tiles.  The bail will probably start out at the top of the piece of wire as a simple curve.  I hope it works.  I can see a necklace with this!

Stay tuned, my next post will be my progress and (hopefully) completion of this little project!

 Susan Kennedy
SueBeads Etsy
SueBeads Web Site


  1. I really like the table top protector! I agree the tiles are very pretty and I'm looking forward to seeing what you make!

  2. I love such unexpected treasures, Sue :) Can't wait to see the finished pendant!

  3. I am looking forward to seeing the finished pendant. And a definite upcycle.

  4. I was going to suggest copper foiling them, as you'd do for glass squares...

  5. I am on pins and needles to see what you do!!!!

  6. Can't wait to see what the finished pendant looks like - wonderful to see how the idea for this has evolved too, from a damaged workplace to new jewellery :)

  7. What a fancy table top! I look forward to seeing what you do with those!

  8. The table top is lovely. Can't wait to see what you make from the tiles!

  9. Wow, that table top is fab and so is your idea for the pendant. Can't wait to see it....

  10. Sue, you might want to try attaching the wire to the tiles with resin instead of the E6000. I've used the E6000 for years (back to 1996) to glue pin backs to glass. It certainly holds (I have brooches I painted from way back then that are perfectly fine), however you can pull the pin back off. I worry that with wear and tear (if you're going to make a bracelet especially, not so much a necklace or earrings) with the tile components, that the wire may pull away from the tile. Just a thought.


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