Radical Jewelry Makeover – Boone, NC!!

September 17th, 2012
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Posted in General News, Gold, Jewels, Radical Jewelry Makeover, Silver

Contact: Jody Servon
Catherine J. Smith Gallery at Appalachian State University
Presents the Radical Jewelry Makeover

Boone, NC—September 6, 2012—The Catherine J. Smith Gallery (CSG) at Appalachian State University (ASU) and Ethical Metalsmiths (EM) presents Radical Jewelry Makeover (RJM). We are seeking donations of old, unwanted jewelry for a community jewelry mining project happening in Boone this fall. Ethical Metalsmiths 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 this fun, fast-paced project: Radical Jewelry Makeover. Jewelry students in the Department of Art at ASU and professional jewelers from the regional community will be transforming donations into radically fresh and responsible jewelry. The project will culminate in an exhibition and sale of these wearable creations displayed in a Pop Up Shop at the Plemmons Student Union (PSU) Solarium on campus.


Those tangled chains, unmatched earrings, and banged up bracelets sitting at the bottom of jewelry boxes are exactly what jewelry artists participating in Radical Jewelry Makeover – Appalachian State University want to get their creative hands on. Until September 27, 2012 Appalachian State University will be accepting donations of old, unwanted jewelry at several campus and Boone area locations (see complete list below). Donors will receive discount coupons to apply toward the purchase of a new piece made by Appalachian State University students and sold at the Pop Up Shop. Sales will benefit arts programming at Appalachian and Radical Jewelry Makeover (RJM) under the direction of Ethical Metalsmiths’ 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 thoughtful 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. At ASU, RJM will bring together volunteer “miners,” who dig out and donate their old jewelry, with volunteer jewelers and students, who will in turn work together as refiners and designers to collaborate on an exhibition of re-made jewelry. RJM will offer an informed and creative alternative to traditional mining practices and jewelry production. You can help by donating jewelry, some of the smallest items in your home, for creative reuse and recycling.

Boone is surrounded by the Appalachian Mountains, an area that feels the devastation of mountain top removal in the form of overly excessive coal and strip mining. Not only does blasting away at these natural monuments leave local water sources tarnished with excess rock and mineral materials, but it pollutes the air with dust and debris as well. These leftovers make their way down the mountains and into populated areas where runoff occurs, creating dangers for local communities. 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 20 tons of mine waste. However, metals and jewelry artists in the Boone area have thrived for years and continue to need these mined materials to create beautiful works of art. Ethical Metalsmiths, an artist run non-profit organization, seeks to galvanize mining reform efforts by staging an “alternative supply chain.”

Donate Your Jewelry
• To donate jewelry of any quality, quantity, or material type, please download and submit the
official project donation form. It is available for download or in print at the various donation drop-off locations.
• Use this URL to download form:
• Want to donate gold or silver? If you get your jewelry appraised prior to donating, RJM can honor your donation if given with an official appraisal document at its full value as a tax deductible donation to Ethical Metalsmiths.

Project Events and Timeline
• Drop-off Donations will be accepted from September 7 through September 27, 2012 (drop off locations listed below).
• Kick Off Event including final donation collection, public reception, and lecture by Susie Ganch, RJM Project Director on September 27 at the Turchin Center for the Visual Art Lecture Hall. Reception and collection is from 5:30-6:30 PM, lecture following at 6:30pm.
• Jewelry students and professionals will transform the donations between September 28 – October 22, 2012
• Works will be on view and sold at the RJM Pop Up Shop at the Plemmons Student Union Solarium on October 23, 2012 from 5 – 7 PM.

RJM Promotional Events and Drop Off Locations

September 19
Jewelry Donation Collection, 10 AM – 4 PM
Plemmons Student Union, Cascade Foyer – Appalachian State University, Boone, NC 828-262-3032

September 22
Jewelry Donation Collection, 10 AM – 6 PM
Bead Box – 585 West King St., Boone, NC 828-265-2315

September 27
Jewelry Donation Collection and Reception, 5:30 – 6:30 PM
Turchin Center for the Visual Arts
423 West King St., Boone, NC 828-262-3017

Mail-in or Drop Off Donations
Donations can be mailed in any time or hand delivered on weekdays from 8am-5pm to:
Department of Art, ASU
Attn: IlaSahai Prouty, RJM
232 Herbert Wey Hall Boone, NC 28608
For more information, please contact Ben Wesemann, Catherine J. Smith Gallery Assistant Director, at or by phone at 828-262-7338.

Ethical Metalsmiths is a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage social change that values jewelry made with ethically sourced materials. They do this by educating people about irresponsible mining, promoting transparency in jewelry supply chains and highlighting the collective efforts of jewelers actively changing their practices. Ethical Metalsmiths’ vision is a world in which people can create and enjoy jewelry made with materials from responsible sources that protect and sustain the earth, its peoples and cultures. More information can be found online at

The Catherine J. Smith Gallery is closed for renovations through August 2013. Exhibitions and programs take place this year at Belk Library and Information Commons, the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts and in other locations on the campus of Appalachian State University (ASU) unless otherwise noted. Admission is free for all events and programs. The gallery office is temporarily located in Wey Hall room 210A on ASU’s campus. For more information, please call 828-262-7338 or visit Like us on Facebook! Search “Catherine J. Smith Gallery.” The Turchin Center for the Visual Arts is located at 423 West King St., in Boone, NC. The museum is open Tuesday – Thursday and Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., and on Friday from 12 p.m. – 8 p.m. Parking is available nearby on King St. and in the parking deck on College St. located behind the center. For more information, call 828.262.3017 or visit
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