Tampa Homebody

Broken Glass Jewelry

– Posted in: Tips, Thrills & Tales
Broken Glass Jewelry

Most folks know that I am an avid collector and researcher on the the vintage glass pattern, Fostoria American.  I do collect; however, other vintage glass patterns as well.  I will be the first to admit that I am partial to Fostoria glass; therefore, when an item arrives at my doorstep broken and in pieces … it’s not a pleasant experience.  My sadness over the loss of a piece of history does not get swept away as fast as glass particles being dumped into a trash can.

Put simply, glass breaks.  Therein lies the fragility of this type of craftsmanship.  Most of the breakage that I have been witness to was due to shipping and packaging mishaps.  Years ago, I would just throw away the broken glass.  It was not until much later, when a shipment of rare glass dishes were delivered completely shattered, that I began to change my ways.

I simply could not bear the thought of glass that had survived for 80-100 years being casually tossed into the trash can.  So, I started to carefully go through the pieces, wearing safety gloves!  I retrieved the biggest and most intact pieces I could find, saved them … and then went on a quest to find someone that could turn my broken glass into jewelry.  Jewelry that I could enjoy, pass on, and still pay tribute to our glass industry and craftsmanship of yesteryear.

Broken Glass Jewelry - Golden GlowPictured here is a beautiful set that I had made from a Fostoria Golden Glow vintage plate.  Luckily there were enough big pieces of the plate left that allowed me to get a long pendant made from one of the ribbed design elements.  The pendant was set in jewelers bronze and embellished with a fine cultured teardrop pearl.  Earrings were also made, and I had them designed in two different styles.

It was not an easy journey, but I finally found a couple of people that I thought could turn my broken glass into wearable treasures.  I ended up finding someone on Etsy to make my custom jewelry.  I sent them a box of my broken glass, and then left it in their capable hands.  There are a variety of custom design shops within the Etsy site, specifically dealing with broken china and/or glass.  Pick one that pleases your creative vision and pocket book.  The sets I chose were not inexpensive; however, I was pleased with the final result.

If you find that you, too, have a broken piece of glass or pottery sitting around, why not consider re-purposing it?  Envision it as something else … earrings, a pendant, a small vase, or anything else you can think of.  This application would be very appropriate for an item that once belonged to a special member of your family – such as your mother or grandmother.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring it back to life again?  I think so.

I can tell you, firsthand, that it really feels good to know that my broken glass now has a useful second life – allowing me to still admire its rich history and beautiful artistry.  So the next time that the unthinkable happens … rethink it.  Re-purpose it, and watch as the beautiful reincarnation evolves. ♥

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