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Jewelry trunk show, mission of SCCF go hand-in-hand

By Staff | Feb 8, 2018

PHOTO PROVIDED Charm bracelet created by artist and jeweler Barbara Warner.

An upcoming trunk show will feature handmade jewelry that embodies recycling, sustainability and conservation – ideas supported by the non-profit organization that will benefit from the event.

The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation will host “Jewelry with a Purpose” on Feb. 13 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Nature Center on Sanibel. Open to the community, it will spotlight repurposed jewelry and one-of-a kind pieces by artist and jeweler Barbara Warner, a longtime visitor to the island.

Warner creates upcycled and wearable art using cast-off fabrics, plastics and other materials.

“Her work is made from recycled, reused and discarded items,” Shelley Greggs, a board member for the foundation and member of the events committee, said. “It likens into what we do because we’re showing that sustainability, recycling and upcycling can really be done in a broad range of activities.”

A portion of sales from the show will benefit the organization.

PHOTO PROVIDED Artist and jeweler Barbara Warner turned her mother's black velvet coat into a necklace called Mother's Flowers. One of her featured pieces, she can create the same thing for others with sentimental fabrics.

“This is a new venture,” she said, adding that much of the SCCF’s funding comes from individual donations and government grants. “We have a variety of fundraisers throughout the year.”

Warner has always been picking up something strange to turn into something else.

“I have been making stuff out of stuff for a very very long time,” she said.

Warner made her grandson’s baptism outfit out his great-grandmother’s linen tablecloth, turned her mother’s black velvet coat into a necklace and once created teddy bears out of people’s clothes.

“We have so much and there’s so much that is usable. It’s important to keep using the things we already have and turn them into something usable,” she said. “It’s not good to throw things away that still have another life. Our planet cannot sustain all the stuff that we throw away, so find another use for it.”

PHOTO PROVIDED Crab cuff created by artist and jeweler Barbara Warner.

An estimated 300 to 400 pieces will be on display, as well as for sale, at the event.

“One of my favorite things to make earrings,” Warner said.

She creates them from the foil in peanut cans and milk jugs that are empty. She made a bracelet from the liner in a pizza box and a necklace from paint samples she got from a home improvement store.

There are necklaces made out of clay and ones created from produce boxes.

“I also have some earrings and bracelets that I’ve made out of paper. They look like charm bracelets,” Warner said, adding that shells are a staple in her work. “Shells are some of my favorites to use.”

The pieces will range from affordable to on the pricer side.

“Everybody should be able to find something that works for them,” she said.

The necklace created from her mother’s velvet coat is one of her featured pieces, called Mother’s Flowers. Visitors can bring a fabric that is sentimental to them and she will craft the same for a fee.

“I will make a Mother’s Flowers for them,” Warner said.

She will also have on hand her knotty bags, which are purses made from strips of knotted fabric.

While most of the materials are reused, Warner’s pieces are not 100 percent recycled.

“I use upcycled materials in my work, but not exclusively. There will be beads, fibers and wire that are new,” she said. “I love color and texture, so sometimes I need to add new elements to make the piece work.”

Asked about why she agreed to do the benefit show, Warner explained that she has been visiting Sanibel and Captiva since about 1984. With a seasonal home in Fort Myers, she praised the SCCF.

“It’s a wonderful organization,” Warner said.

“We want to see as much conserved on Sanibel as possible,” she added.

Founded in 1967, SCCF is dedicated to the conservation of coastal habitats and aquatic resources on the islands and in the surrounding watershed. It manages more than 1,200 acres on Sanibel, plus more than 600 additional acres on Captiva and other islands. The SCCF’s program areas have grown to include wildlife and habitat management, sea turtle research and monitoring, environmental education and natural resource policy, along with the creation of a marine research laboratory and garden center.

“We’re very very broad in scope,” Greggs said.

She encouraged the public to stop by for the trunk show.

“It benefits the wildlife, the coastal waters and the inhabitants,” Greggs said. “It’s important to get involved in the community, and the SCCF is a great way to get involved.”

The Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation is at 3333 Sanibel Captiva Road.