Flea Market Finds

April 13, 2009 at 2:43 pm (Artist Musings)

I am often asked, “What inspires you?” My answer is… everything. For The Ephemera Collection, my first jewelry collection, I was inspired by old labels, posters, advertisements, and postcards… fleeting bits of a vanished or vanishing time. For the Beyond Neverland Collection, I was inspired by the movie Finding Neverland and J.M. Barrie’s relationship with Sylvia Llewelyn Davies and her five boys, his inspiration for what later became Peter Pan.

So yesterday I went to the flea market at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds. I wandered into Debs’ booth. Debs’ booth had bins and bins full of vintage hardware, buttons, and knick knacks. Handing me a treasure box to hold my fabulous finds, Debs warned me that the longer someone stays in her booth, the more the creative juices start to flow. I filled the treasure box with a pile of rust… screws, hinges, pins, and keyholes. Some might see these things as uninteresting, utilitarian, or a just plain junk. I see transitory treasures that I can reinvent into a brooch, an art doll, a bezel, or a pendant.

I think one of my favorite teachers, author, metal artist, and award winning jewelry maker Susan Lenart Kazmer says it best:

“The magnitude of energy carried with the found object from their previous lives can be seen felt and touched. When you close your eyes and hold the object in your hand you can feel whether the user has enjoyed, neglected, or cherished it. Fear, happiness, struggle, and strength are also feelings embedded in an object. My job as an artist is to take the found object and present it in a new and unexpected way.” Susan Lenart Kazmer

When a found object becomes found art, it captures the imagination of the beholder. Old keys drape from my luggage label necklaces. The key itself is not interesting, but on the necklace, the key becomes the story, and the wearer of the necklace usually becomes the storyteller. It gives me great satisfaction as a designer when someone sees my jewelry, makes the connection, and becomes the storyteller. It means I’ve done my job as an artist.

So keep coming back to see how I transform my flea market finds into found art. It might take some time, but I will post them here when they are finished. And in the meantime… What inspires you?



  1. Rosy Revolver said,

    YOU inspire me, LVH. Beautiful blog! I look forward to reading it often!


  2. creativegoddess said,

    Good to see you online! Love your work, Lauren! I’m adding you to my talented friend list.


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