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Mom Central - Aug 26th, 2010

Last week I stepped into a little eco-boutique in a small New England town and saw a display of beautiful colored circles. Upon close inspection I realized it was a collection known as Smart Glass Jewelry. Each piece is handmade from recycled glass bottles of every color, plus sterling silver or gold fill.

Glass jewelry is an art

I decided to look up the artist, Kathleen Plate, and found out she was a stained glass artist who had learned the skill from working with her mother. While in graduate school, Kathleen was in need of a gift for a friend so she decided to make a pair of earrings from stained glass. The gift was a hit with her friends and later with festivals and the collection took off when Aveda placed an order after seeing a necklace made from their own glass bottles.

Smart glass open recycled line

The collection I saw was the "open" line of earrings, necklaces and bracelets. Each circle is unique and has a very natural feel. Because they are handmade sizes and shapes may vary slightly. Some pieces, like the small earrings, are simple and sophisticated while others, like the open cascade earring are bold. I fell in love with the bangle bracelets, but it's best to try these on in one of the retail locations because just as each person's hand and wrist size varies, so too does the width of a bangle.

Glass art for the home

After browsing the entire line of jewelry online, I took a quick peak at the artist's website and saw the most incredible piece of lighting I've ever seen. The same glass circles she has used in the jewelry are used to make stunning wall art, sculptures, and lighting.

Thanks to Kathleen Plate, I see that recycling glass bottles is not just good for our planet, it can become a work of art to be worn on the body, or displayed in a home.

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