Earlham College artists joining global jewelry makeover movement

Earlham College’s Art, Metals and 3D Fabrication Department is collaborating with artists from across the Midwest as part of a growing initiative to transform unwanted jewelry into new, sustainably sourced pieces.

Radical Jewelry Makeover is an initiative by the nonprofit Ethical Metalsmiths with a goal of bringing awareness to the perils of the traditional gem mining industry.

“The mining and production of gemstones and metals is a largely unregulated industry that has long presented issues such as environmental damage, contribution to conflict, and human rights abuses,” said Lauren Darrouzet, visiting assistant professor of art, metals and 3D fabrication at Earlham College. “New regulations on the industry aim to support producing countries to engage with systems of accountability throughout the supply chain. This effort is challenging and relies on global participation.

Earlham is participating in a Radical Jewelry Makeover project based in Bloomington, Indiana. The College is being joined in the effort by professional jewelers from Chicago’s Gallery 2052 and students from Indiana University-Bloomington, Ball State University, Bowling Green University, Western Michigan University, and Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.

The Bloomington event is one of several regional efforts taking place around the United States and in several other countries around the world.

Lauren Darrouzet

“Radical Jewelry Makeover strives to create awareness about these issues so we can question our habits of consumption and be responsible consumers,” Darrouzet said. “We hope to inspire the community to support local artists and local projects, because ultimately, change starts locally.”

Volunteer “miners” in Richmond can donate their unwanted jewelry at a drop box outside of Room 109 of the Earlham College Center for Visual Performing Arts located at 801 National Road W. A second drop-off location is located at the front desk of the Richmond Art Museum, 350 Hub Etchison Parkway.  Donations at the museum are being accepted during regular business hours, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Donations are being accepted through Sept. 12.

Donations can also be sent in the mail to Earlham College, Attn: Metals, 801 National Road W., Richmond, IN 47374. Shipped donations can be sent with a printed and signed donation form or via email to [email protected].

Donors are asked to complete a submission form available through this link or in print at the collection locations. Donors will receive discount coupons to apply toward the purchase of a new piece and will support Ethical Metalsmiths’ efforts. Donations of gold or silver accompanied by an official appraised document may be considered tax-deductible to their full appraised value.

The project culminates with an exhibit at Indiana University’s Grunwald Gallery of Art, 1201 E. 7th St., in Bloomington. The exhibit opens with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. on Friday Jan. 19, 2024. The exhibit runs through March 2.

(Banner photo courtesy of Radical Jewelry Makeover)

Media contact

Brian Zimmerman
Director of media relations

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 765.983.1256

We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.
We continue to monitor the effects of an industrial fire 1.1 miles from campus.