I get asked all of the time what I will do when I run out of typewriters. It’s a good question. Typewriters are certainly not a renewable resource. In fact, finding typewriters is probably the hardest part of making the jewelry.
Once you find a typewriter, removing the keys and getting them ready for jewelry making is a long process. The first step in creating any piece of jewelry is the pane staking process of removing the keys, following the many steps to get them flat, and then cleaning and polishing them. My dad is a genius and this process down to a science. I take no credit for this part.
Once I receive the keys with flat backs and clean faces, I arrange them in the order I like best. Sometimes, I use only black keys, sometimes I mix all colors, and usually I use a black and light style. My favorite is an all black and white bracelet. Pure white keys are hard to come by though because time and wear changes the color.
I like to use my artistic design to arrange the keys, but I love it when a customer has an idea and I can see it and make it happen. Of course, sometimes it's simply based what which keys I have in stock in which letter. For me, sitting down at my jewelry table and assembling the jewelry really feels like therapy. There's something about how methodical it is that sort of makes everything else go away.
I love to use all different makes and models of typewriters in one bracelet. Of course, I have my favorite styles of typewriters too, usually based on font. A Smith Corona with a serif font remains my all time favorite.
One of the things about using vintage typewriter keys, is that it makes them unique and eclectic. Every piece is personal. It takes time and commitment both to the process and the artistic design, which is part of designing the perfect gift. I have been making typewriter key jewelry for so long, that my inventory is very large, which means I’m able to accommodate almost any custom order.
It takes patience and time to make typewriter key jewelry. There isn't a factory that produces the jewelry that I ship out. You cannot simply go to Hobby Lobby or Walmart and buy the supplies. If you received a product from JSD, my hands have touched it. It's personal.