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Yesterday while I was at the Whiskerino, I took some time to shop around the Petaluma Farmer’s Market. There were some great craft vendors alongside the fresh produce and foods. I scored two wonderful pieces, a keychain and a ring that embody crafty recycling and the beauty of vintage collectables.
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Both pieces are wrought from the handle of silver spoon. The keychain pattern is called “Orange Blossom” and was made in 1910. The artist, Norman, even had the original spoon with him. Norman was a true throwback, no URL, not even a business card. While he truly knew each detail on the silver spoons he worked with, all he could tell me about his business was that each piece was made right in town and that he occasionally made appearances at the farmers market. I loved Norman’s old-school spoons, and his old-school attitude. Farmer’s markets, FTW.


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Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    After reading this post I was kind of…uh…worried. I work identifying and restoring antiques and find myself forever concerned about the crafting community (don’t get me wrong–I’m a crafter, too ^__~ ). What appears to be a random junkshop piece to some is an irreplaceable artifact to others. The fact that some look at gutting old (100+ years) items as ‘recycling’ is both heartbreaking and outright insulting to those of us that dedicate our lives to preserving such treasures. There are actually laws protecting many antiques from being tampered with (the least unusual example is old buildings–y’know, things like ‘no ripping up the original flooring without cause’), but since no one really knows about these laws and antiques can be troublesome to date, it does little to no good.
    Silver from certain lines and/or over the age of 100 years (I’m not sure about jewelry–not my field ^__^; ) is illegal to modify. Full stop. You can repair it if you’re certified, but without a degree making repairs is actually illegal, too.
    Antiquers and heritage committees started lobbying for this when jewellers began melting down old silverware (including bowls, teapots, etc.) as a less expensive alternative to buying silver in the raw. Convenient for them, but there are now whole lines that have been destroyed and those with only one or two examples remaining.
    As you can see, this stuff is beautiful. It was cherished in the past and is worth keeping. You can use the stuff, too! Regardless, it’s going extinct. The deal is the same as it is with animals: once they’re gone, they’re gone. You can’t get what you lose back. -__-;
    Happily, silver is easier to identify than most antiques. :D The handle or base of a piece has a hallmark/stamp and/or number on it. If you can’t find one, don’t modify. Laws requiring branding were passed over 100 years ago, making unmarked pieces off limits by default. Otherwise, plug the ID No. along with any other information and the word ‘silver’ into your favourite search engine and presto! You have information.
    The artist featured in this article has the right idea: create casts of the original and work from there. Even if the item you’re working with isn’t protected, making a cast allows you to make more than one piece without killing a whole set. You can have a bunch of rings, necklaces, and matching bracelets all from one fork! Besides, pouring resin into silverware moulds makes insanely cool jewellery~!
    So, yeah. There’s my downer of a post. ‘Vintage’ and ‘antique’ are two different things: ‘vintage’ is more recent. 1920s+ is ‘vintage. 1910- is ‘antique.’ Antiques are rare and are becoming more so by the day. Please remember to check what you have, respect and cherish history (like the fabulous featured artist), and have fun crafting! ^___^

    1. Nice to get this kind of information from someone who cares so much about preserving historical antiques & a lot of people are not aware (myself included) that these laws are in place.Thank you for this post,some may not like or agree with it,I personally agree with you so thank you again for making me aware.

  2. MHA says:

    I have a set of the Orange Blossom silverware. It’s a Sunkist thing – my grandparents were growers. Sooo cool to see it pop up on my screen!

  3. Alyce says:

    I wonder Does this apply as well to the collectables that we call state spoons that are bought as souveniers? My mom has dozens of them And I am trrying to figure out what to do with them. I was thinking about making small gifts for the girls in my family from my mom for Christmas because she has Alzheimers and I thought it would be a nice momento.for them to have from her..

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