By Amanda Cortez
Another creative artist who began using recycled bottles is Kathleen Plate from Atlanta, Georgia, owner and founder of Smart Glass Recycled Jewelry while she was holding a hair product glass bottle she discovered how beautiful the glass was. She began creating her glass jewelry part time because of her past experience with her mother. But soon her jewelry was in demand before her business started. "I've always had a huge demand and tried to fill it the best I could - so lucky!"
So Plate put her graduate work in American literature on hold to leap into launching her jewelry line. And her luck kept following her when she received a call, out-of-the-blue, from Coca-Cola. They had seen her jewelry and wanted her to make jewelry out their bottles. They now send her reject bottles and the artists creates the famous glass bottles into chic jewelry.
Smart Glass Recycled Jewelry is handmade in Atlanta, Georgia from glass, sterling silver, and silver solder using traditional stained glass methods. Each piece is individually selected, with variations in shape and texture in the glass ensuring that every piece in the Smart Glass line is a truly unique and a one-of-a-kind original.
Plate's line consist of necklaces, earrings, bracelets, cocktail, ornaments, drawer pulls, fan pulls, men's necklace, They come in all different sizes and colors and make a fashionable statement.
Adriana Davalos from Los Angeles wears her necklace and earrings. "I think it's awesome! It's amazing that something, that would otherwise be junk, is now a beautiful piece of jewelry that I continuously get compliments on and they feel so natural to wear." Said Davalos.
Plate's jewelry takes time and precision. Just cutting and firing the bottles is a 10 hour process to create a necklace. Then the glass must slowly cool down. Once the rings are done, then she designs up from there. Smart Glass just developed a line of rings and cufflinks that uses the bottom of the bottles. "I've been saving those bottle bottoms all year knowing we would use them somehow." Said Plate.
Plate has also been known to leave a restaurant with a bottle or two in her purse. She said some restaurants save bottles for her and her studio looks like a liquor store explosion.
Plate makes every single piece of jewelry by hand. "I feel like the luckiest person in the world to have a job I love and create something that is beautiful and eco-friendly." Said Plate. "I love the surprise in people's faces when they realize their cool necklace is made from a beer bottle."