Celebrate Earth Day with Eco-Friendly Gifts from Eco-Artware.com

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Online retailer offers special gifts that are good to the environment, too.

April 22 marks the 35th anniversary of Earth Day, a holiday to celebrate our awareness for and appreciation of the environment. As our concern for the environment grows, more artists, considering how to leave a lighter footprint on the earth, are developing products that are not only useful and attractive but also friendly to the planet.

Eco-Artware.com is an online gift store dedicated to products made from recycled, reused, natural and biodegradable materials, created by cutting-edge artists and craftsmen who use earth-friendly “first-generation” materials as well as working with discards.

Eco-Artware.com founder Reena Kazmann said, “Our designs are both well made and innovative.” As demand for the designers’ practical handiwork grows, more waste is diverted from landfills across the country — a fitting tribute to the spirit of Earth Day.

Eco-Artware.com features a number of fine jewelry artisans who reconfigure materials ranging from sea glass — pieces of bottles washed up on beaches — to unused vintage windup watches and manual typewriter keys into designs that complement today’s fashions.

Sea Glass Jewelry

Since 1991, artist Jessica Lee has spent several days each year hunting for sea glass, bits of manmade glass naturally tossed and tumbled smooth in the ocean, on beaches in California. The glass is cut and set in sterling silver bezels which are mounted in sterling silver and sometimes combined with pearls. Eco-Artware.com carries several sea glass earrings, bracelets and a necklace in several shades of sea green ($30-$105).

Vintage Watch Jewelry

Discovery of supplies of vintage stem-winding watches from the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s inspired several artists to see how they could reuse these delicate and intricate components. Designer Ward Wallau developed watch movement cuff links incorporating vintage levers, gears and jewels are set in sterling silver ($110), and then designed a bracelet featuring six watch faces set in wafer-thin sterling silver and attached by a sterling silver chain. No two bracelets are alike — dials vary in size and color (some faces still have hands attached) and each includes one face in a contrasting color for visual interest ($130).

Designers Jim Mullan and Tori Rhoades combine recycled watch parts and vintage objects to create limited editions of intricate pins and earrings. The artists scour the country collecting ample supplies of found objects, which are between 50 and 100 years old. Recycled metals — copper, brass and steel — plated with silver or enhanced with oxidation provide a unusual array of colors and finishes. A design is removed from the collection when its unique components are no longer available (30-$52).

Typewriter Key Wristwatches

Typewriters, yesterday’s office timesavers, have meaningful associations for everybody who used them. Designer Cindy Kroth collects inoperable typewriters throughout the country, takes them apart, and sets the keys in sterling silver wristbands for water-resistant quartz watches. Available in several sizes to fit any wrist, they may be personalized to include names, birthdays or anniversary dates — anything that will fit in the appropriate size ($140). The general design incorporates random letters, numbers and punctuation ($120).

About Eco-Artware.com — A web-based gallery of stylish, well-made products enabling us to live well, while living lightly on the earth. Reena Kazmann founded the company in 1999. “I recycled and reused before and after it became chic,” she said. The complete catalog can be seen at http://www.eco-artware.com {Eco-Artware.com].

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