Monday, October 3, 2011

Don’t know what to do with your old, unwanted jewelry?

How about Radical Jewelry Makeover!

Several Santa Fe area institutions are seeking donations of old, unwanted jewelry for Radical Jewelry Makeover, the community jewelry mining and recycling project happening in Santa Fe, NM this October. Radical Jewelry Makeover has been traveling nationally and internationally to communities since 2007 educating jewelers of all levels about mining and material sourcing issues involved in jewelry making through a fun, fast paced, week-long project. Jewelry students at the Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe Community College, New Mexico State University – Las Cruces and University of Texas – El Paso as well as professional jewelers from the regional community will be transforming donations into radically fresh and responsible jewelry. The project will culminate in an exhibition of these wearable creations displayed at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian.

Those tangled chains, unmatched earrings and banged up bracelets sitting at the bottom of jewelry boxes around the Santa Fe area are exactly what jewelry artists participating in Radical Jewelry Makeover – Santa Fe want to get their creative hands on. Until October 15th the non-profit, Ethical Metalsmiths is accepting donations of old, unwanted jewelry at several Santa Fe area locations (see complete list below) for its acclaimed Radical Jewelry Makeover project. Donors will receive discount coupons to apply toward the purchase of a new piece and sales will benefit Ethical Metalsmiths' ongoing efforts to educate and connect people with responsibly sourced materials.

RJM draws attention to the creativity and skills of local jewelry designers, reveals the stories behind our personal collections and encourages re-consideration of our habits of consumption. Currently, materials used in jewelry production are sourced from some of the poorest countries in the world, sacred lands and disputed territories. Often this sourcing comes at a great cost to the environment. Radical Jewelry Makeover VI will offer an informed and creative alternative to traditional mining practices and jewelry production. You can help by donating some of the smallest items in your home, jewelry, for reuse and recycling.

New Mexico has a rich history of jewelry production. Native Americans have been mining turquoise in parts of southwestern North America for up to 1500 years. While turquoise and lead deposits were the focus early on, gold, silver, copper, and zinc have all played major roles in shaping the state of NM as well as the region of Santa Fe. Today, the EPA estimates that hard rock mining is the most toxic industry in the United States. Additionally, Earthworks reports that an estimated 80% of the gold mined each year is used for jewelry, and that a single gold ring leaves behind 20 tons of mine waste. Ethical Metalsmiths seeks to galvanize mining reform efforts by staging an "alternative supply chain."

To donate jewelry of any quality, quantity or material type please download and submit the official project donation form with your jewelry. Donation forms are also available in print at the various drop-off locations.

  • Drop-off Donations will be accepted NOW through Oct. 15 (drop of locations and mail in sites listed below).
  • Jewelry students and professionals will transform the donations between Oct. 23 and Oct. 27, 2011
  • The exhibition at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian will take place Oct. 28-Nov. 27, 2011. There will be an opening reception Friday, October 28 from 5-7 PM.


  • Santa Fe Community College, School of Arts & Design, Jewelry Studio (Room 720), 6401 Richards Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87608
  • Institute of American Indian Arts Museum of Contemporary Native Arts, Museum Store, 108 Cathedral Place Santa Fe, NM
  • IAIA, The College of Contemporary Native Arts, Academic and Administration Building Ticket Window, 83 Avan Nu Po Rd. Santa Fe NM, 87508
  • New Mexico State University, Department of Art. DW Williams Hall, Room 100, 1390 East University. Las Cruces, NM 88003-0001
  • University of Texas El Paso, Department of Art, Fox Fine Arts Room 350, El Paso, TX 7996
  • Case Trading Post at the Wheelwright Museum, 704 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM 87505, hours: Mon.-Sat. 10am-5pm, Sun. 1-5pm, 505-982-4636


  • Mail to: Cheri Falkenstien-Doyle, curator, Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian, P.O. Box 5153 / 704 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM 87502


  • Santa Fe Community College, School of Arts & Design - Diane Tintor, Assistant Professor. 6401 Richards Avenue, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87508, 505 428 1446.,
  • Institute of American Indian Arts - Mark Herndon, Faculty Jewelry/Metalsmithing
. 83 Avan Nu Po Road, Santa Fe, NM 87508, 940.453.9449.,
  • Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian - Cheri Falkenstien-Doyle, Curator
 704 Camino Lejo, Santa Fe, NM 87505, 505.982.4636 ext. 104.,
  • Ethical Metalsmiths / Radical Jewelry Makeover - Christina Miller, Director, Ethical Metalsmiths. PO Box 156, College Corner, OH 45003, 513.551.0559.,,
  • Susie Ganch, Co-Project Director, Radical Jewelry Makeover, 415.706.0576.,

For more information about Ethical Metalsmiths visit:


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