Simply Beads Newsletter
Lyndsey Smith of Sharp Dressed Van
Recently, I had the opportunity to interview Lyndsey Smith of Sharp Dressed Van. Sharp Dressed Van is a business that Lyndsey and her fiance, Chuck, have created together through their love of vintage cars. Their creative spirit and amazing designs were my inspiration for writing this month's newsletter. I hope that their journey and creations inspire you as much as they have inspired me! If you would like to learn more about Sharp Dressed Van, check out their blog and Etsy store.
|These earrings were created with pieces from a 1960s Chevy truck.|
|This belt buckle was created from a 1960s Corvair trunk lid.|
|This necklace was created with pieces from a 1970s and a 1960s Chevy truck.|
How long have you been making jewelry, and when did you begin selling your jewelry?
We came up with the idea to make jewelry out of vintage car metal in the summer of 2011. One pair of earrings that Chuck crafted in the garage one evening has slowly progressed into many types of jewelry and accessories. We started selling on Etsy and Facebook in November and continually come up with new ideas every day. We began selling our jewelry in November of 2011.
When did you come up with the idea of using car parts for jewelry making?
Chuck has always had a passion for vintage cars, which led him to the idea of making furniture out of vintage car metal. Then, the idea of making jewelry came about from all of the pieces of scrap that were left over. Once that first pair of earrings was made, ideas poured into my brain for different designs and styles of jewelry that we could make.
What other found objects do you use in your jewelry?
We like the idea of vintage/salvaged metal in general and have recently cut up a 1950s Frigidaire refrigerator for jewelry. We have plans to actually craft the refrigerator door into a bookshelf or coffee table.
I find it really interesting that this is an activity that both you and your fiance do together. When did he become involved? My fiance and I have both been involved from the beginning. I was always supportive of his venture to make furniture since we first started dating. As it progressed into jewelry and accessory making, we both have been involved. We hang out in the garage for hours together making jewelry and talking about new ideas.
What tips do you have for other jewelry makers that may have never used unusual found objects in their jewelry?
There's beauty in everything, and there's always a story behind every object. When we go to the junkyards, we aren't searching for the newest, shiniest vehicles; we look for the beat-up, rusty vehicles with trees growing through them. There's a history there, and we like to think that we're carrying on some of that history into the items that we make. So, when you come across an unusual object or something that you would never have thought of as beautiful or useful, expand your creative mind. Think about its history or the possibility of it being transformed into something wearable. There's always a use for something, even an object that is considered junk or trash.
What inspires you when you go looking for objects for your jewelry?
Basically, what I already touched on in the answer to the previous question. When we go to the junkyards, we search for the vehicles that are covered with nature and have trees growing through them. They're old and have been rusting away for quite some time. The older, the better! I love to find cars that I can imagine my great-grandparents driving around in on a Sunday afternoon. I like to think that we are making the vehicle/history/era alive again through our wearable art.
What is your favorite type of jewelry that you like to make and why?
I really don't have a particular favorite type of jewelry to make. I love making them all! I love using the big grinder, and I get to use it for every piece that we make. I also love wearing all the jewelry! I wish I could keep everything! Chuck loves to make the belt buckles the most because he can incorporate a lot of the emblems that we find.