February 27, 2024

Radical Jewelry Makeover

Alexandra Hagerty ’07(right) and Chief MateEmily Bull wave to the crowd after dockingthe MercyShips vesselin Africa.

The Earlham College Art, Metals and 3D Fabrication Department collaborated with artists from across the Midwest in fall 2023 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, a visiting professor of art, metals and 3-D fabrication.

“New regulations on the industry aim to support producing countries to engage with systems
 of accountability throughout the supply chain,” she said. “This effort is challenging and relies on global participation.”

Earlham participated in a Radical Jewelry Makeover project based in Bloomington, Indiana. The College was 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.

Story written by Brian Zimmerman. Photos by Josh Smith and Lauren Darrouzet.

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