Broken Jadeite Dishes: Trash or Treasure?
August 3, 2023
Jadeite dishes are full of history and nostalgic value, so when they break, it breaks our heart a little too. While it’s disheartening to see your Jadeite dishes broken, there is still hope!
An exciting idea for utilizing broken Jadeite dishware is to make jewelry. Small pieces can be transformed into unique pendants, earrings, or bracelets.
DinnerWear Jewelry makes beautiful earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets made out of old Jadeite dishes. Pictured is a Jadeite pendant necklace made from a broken Fire-King Jadeite Alice dinner plate!
25 Best 20th Anniversary Gifts
July 13, 2023
This Blue Willow necklace is a beautiful handmade item from Etsy that references the traditional symbol of this anniversary: china!
This necklace displays two birds from a vintage china plate.
You can choose from a variety of silver chain lengths, depending on how high or low you would like the necklace to hang.
25 Best 20th Anniversary Gifts
July 13, 2023
Let’s be honest; shopping for 20th-anniversary gifts for him can be daunting. It always feels like there are fewer gift options for guys out there.
These Blue Willow cufflinks are right on brand for this wedding anniversary theme.
Another handmade item from Etsy, these cufflinks use broken vintage willow china and come in various designs.
It’s an excellent yet subtle nod to the 20th-year anniversary gift tradition of china.
Gorgeous Broken China Jewelry by DinnerWear Jewelry
May 12, 2023
I have written about broken china jewelry before. Very often the solder and copper foil tape technique as for stained glass work is used. However, the broken china jewelry designs by Massachusetts based husband and wife team, Mary-Ann and Mark Besnia, of DinnerWear Jewelry is outstanding.
Mary-Ann is the designer and creator while Mark is a maker and keeps the tools and the technical side of their work running smoothly.
They work with sterling silver findings and top quality crystals which so beautifully compliment the vintage china. One example is the ever popular blue willow pattern shown above. Some of my favorites includes the many floral designs such as their forget me nots collection as well as the childhood themed ones.
I had a difficult time choosing this selection because there were so many beautiful creations.
Don't forget, the 20th wedding anniversary gift is china!
27 Unique 20th Wedding Anniversary Gift Ideas
September 22, 2022
This china Forget-Me-Not necklace is a beautiful way of telling your partner to remember you always. It’s such a thoughtful gift; women adore such elegant gifts that come with a hidden meaning.
This charming necklace comes beautifully packed, so you can get it delivered directly to your loved one’s doorstep and surprise them on your 20th anniversary.
20th Anniversary Gifts: Best Ideas (Traditional & Modern)
May 6, 2022
Made with vintage Blue Willow china, this pretty pendant is perfect for the 20th anniversary, and your jewelry lover will adore it! It will look just as stunning with a casual t-shirt and jeans as it will paired with a little black dress.
The Best 20th Anniversary Gifts Celebrating Two Decades
March 11, 2021
What is the 20-year anniversary gift?
The traditional 20th wedding anniversary gift is china, which is a beautiful representation of the delicate balance you've mastered in your relationship after 20 years together. If you're worried the traditional material for this milestone sounds a little boring—don't be. There are actually lots of cool and unique china-themed presents out there (that go way beyond dinnerware).
A pendant necklace made with upcycled china is an ultra-unique and totally on-theme 20-year wedding anniversary gift for your fashion-loving spouse. Check out Dinner Wear Jewelry’s china Forget Me Not necklace!
Wear a Piece of the Past with DinnerWear Jewelry
August 17, 2019
After having worked in fashion for a decade, it is very, very difficult to surprise me. Even though I know that fashion is an ever-evolving phenomenon, with new ideas, concepts and designs appearing on the market with a certain regularity, sometimes I still feel like I've seen it all. I live for discovering new things on the fashion scene - it is refreshing, every once in a while, to see something new and unexpected that makes me say "Wow, I've never seen that before!"
My newest discovery is DinnerWear Jewelry, an artisan brand founded by Mary-Ann Wood that specializes in jewelry made of broken china. She sources the pieces from all over the world - England, Italy, Germany, France, Japan and Poland , just to name a few - and can even create custom jewelry for you using your family china. She is truly taking both recycling and jewelry making to the next level.
This is a wonderful way to give new life to beautiful things that have (seemingly) reached the end of their life cycle. The ultra feminine and delightfully vintage aesthetic of these pieces make them the perfect keepsakes to be cherished and passed down to future generations. They are also a beautiful complement to bridal looks, lending them an air of fragility and old world charm.
Breaking a piece from your family China service can feel devastating, because often a plate, a cup or a saucer can be much more than a piece of dinnerware: it is a holder of memories of family dinners and celebrations, birthdays, Christmases, reunions or your grandmother's afternoon tea ceremony. Using the fragments to make a jewelry set is a beautiful way of conserving those memories.
Place a custom order with DinnerWear Jewelry and work directly with Mary-Ann to design a custom piece using your broken family china! The results will far exceed your expectations.
Franklin artist returns to Deerfield
September 17, 2018
Mary-Ann Wood is a returning crafter from Franklin who calls her business DinnerWear Jewelry.
"It's my favorite show to do. I love Old Deerfield," Wood said.
The "ware" is old china plates, saucers and cups, most with floral designs, which have seen better days - chipped, cracked, some into broken pieces. Wood takes these pieces and fashions them into jewelry - necklaces, earrings, brooches and more.
A big part of her business is making what the artist called "memory jewelry" made from heirloom pieces from someone's past.
"These pieces are so special to them, usually made in honor of someone they lost such as a mom or aunt, that when they see the finished jewelry they cry," Wood said.
"Many of my customers will find out what show I might be at, then bring their china to me and place an order," she added.
But, you don't necessarily have to bring your own china with you. Wood has plenty of jewelry she has made for sale from old china found in antique stores and shows like Brimfield.
Item of the Day: DinnerWear Jewelry
April 16, 2018
One person’s trash is another’s…jewelry?
Designer Mary-Ann Wood and her company DinnerWear Jewelry creates treasures out of discarded antique china plates, cups and saucers that are chipped, cracked or broken. The sentimental memories from these vintage or more recently owned items? Preserved forever.
“The jewelry pieces I craft aren’t just one-of-a-kinds and beautiful, they carry great sentimental value to the wearer,” Wood said. “They are worn, shared and passed on. The fact that each piece has been made by hand from a china piece that’s probably been in the family for years or even generations only makes it that much more special. It’s very gratifying for me and the customer.”
DinnerWear Jewelry takes broken antique china and turns it into beautiful necklaces, earrings, brooches and lariats.
April 16, 2018
Wood was born with a keen eye for geometry and the way things fit together, as well as an appreciation for beautiful and artistic creations. “I’ve always been fascinated by working with tools, and I’ve always wanted to repurpose things,” she said. “I’d buy vintage clothing that was way too large, for example, and cut it down into something I could wear that had my stamp.”
So the interest and the talent was there from an early age, and it evolved over time with regard to her china collection. “In later years I started to play with cups and saucers in a different way,” she said. “I had a lot of broken pieces, and I hated the thought of just throwing them away. I wanted to do something with the pretty designs on them. That’s what led to my Eureka moment.”
Artisan creates jewelry from broken china
May 11, 2018
Mary-Ann's father did work with leaded glass windows and passed on to his daughter an appreciation for glass and the skills to become an artisan. “Dad taught me how to solder at age 13,” Wood said. “He was quite the craftsman. He repurposed all the marbles at the aquarium, which had been installed in error, and re-sold them to the gift shop, where they were retailed as marine objects.”
Inspired by her father, Wood became a glass artist, a pastime she pursued on the side while helping run the picture framing business, but over time she found glasswork to be tedious and time-consuming. “Plus it was a crowded field,” she pointed out. “Everybody was making these wonderful mosaics and other glass creations. I wanted something new, but I didn’t know what.”
An antique china plate that's chipped, cracked or broken might be trash. But for Mary-Ann, it's treasure.
April 16, 2018
Wood works out of a spacious studio in Franklin, Mass., with hours by appointment, and is fast coming up on her 20th year in business, the last three of which have been dedicated full-time to DinnerWear Jewelry. Prior to that she split her time between jewelry design and the longtime family picture framing business, begun by her mother and father in 1968 and closed in 2015.
Now, she has a loyal following, mostly the result of the arts and crafts fairs and other events she attends in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the region. Her fan base will only get bigger with the launch of a website, www.DinnerWearJewelry.com, that’s attracting new business. An expanded menu now features alternative bridal bouquets and men’s jewelry, mainly tie tacks and cuff links.
DinnerWear Jewelry uses designs cut from fractured unfortunates and turns them into keepsake jewelry.
April 16, 2018
The process of turning a chipped or cracked piece of china into a beautiful, wearable jewelry item is, understandably, a precise and painstaking task. It’s one that involves many tools, each one serving a specific purpose for cutting different materials. These include saws, grinders, files and drills. It’s slow and delicate work. Each piece is cleaned in-between steps of hand-carving.
Final detailing enhances each piece before it becomes jewelry. And then – voila! – the end result: a treasured piece of jewelry that the user can not only appreciate for its beauty and significance as a family heirloom, but actually wear, literally wrapping oneself in personal family history. “I call it bringing the past into the present,” Mary-Ann remarked, “and who can’t appreciate that?”
Mary-Ann painstakingly hand-makes each and every DinnerWear Jewelry piece she sells, using equipment like this drilling machine.
June 23, 2018
The idea for repurposing old, degraded china pieces into lovely wearable jewelry (that is also often a family heirloom) is one that developed over time. “Many children are fascinated with fancy dinnerware and tea sets, and I was no exception,” Mary-Ann said. “I always wanted to help set the table for Sunday and holiday dinners with grandmother’s ‘best china’ and silver.”
It was then, as child, that she started her own personal collection of china. It should be noted that Mary-Ann grew up in a nurturing, art-filled environment. Her father, before he went into picture framing, was an engineer who helped build the New England Aquarium, among other projects. Her mother was a watercolorist who produced art and taught art classes at the framing studio.