Pike Place Market craftsperson Angela Glass incorporates used and found materials in much of her work—a popular craft movement known as upcycling. Not long after first selling her handmade jewelry at the Market in 2005, Angela emerged as an artist known for her inventiveness, her craftsmanship, and ability to generate exciting new work. It's been thrilling to watch Angela's products evolve through her restless creative spirit. Equally as engaging is the theme of sustainability incorporated in the use of found objects and upcycled materials in her work.
Angela says she is most inspired by her surroundings and immediate environment. "I feel like there is so much stuff out there that isn't being used but can be. It's the challenge of finding out what to do with new things that really drives me," she explains. "I find something and I respond to it, and give it the freedom to become what it does."
Angela has experimented with various materials throughout the years. At one time, she explored ways of making jewelry out of bamboo she grew herself. Later, she worked extensively in precious metal clay, a shapeable putty-like substance made from recycled silver (upon completion, these items are subjected to the flame of a butane torch and transformed into dazzling metal). For a brief interlude, Angela stepped away from jewelry entirely and created stylish garments by deconstructing second hand garments and combining and rebuilding them into exciting new designs.
Currently, Angela's product mix is composed of both jewelry and clothing; on her table at the crafts market an eclectic blend of materials hang cohesively together in various combinations. Her work creates a sense of style that is uniquely her own.
"Right now, I am using fabric I buy in thrift stores for making garments," she said. "I use found objects, like beach stones, in my jewelry. Lately I am using rusty washers and bolts that I find just when I am walking to the bus. I put little diamonds in them and call them ‘Diamonds in the Rough.' People really seem to like them."
"Angela seems to thrive on innovation and the continuous exploration of new styles and techniques," observed longtime craftsperson Chuck Pefley. "She approaches new materials in a way that derives unique qualities from them and subsequently enhances their value."
Angela Glass and her handcrafted products are an excellent example of how upcycling in crafting can be successful. She can be found on various days throughout the week selling on the Market's craft tables.
Learn more about the crafts market and craftspeople at Pike Place Market at www.pikeplacemarket.org/crafts-market.org.