News-Antique.com - Feb 09,2010 - (Deland, FL) - It has often been often said that the antiques business is the ultimate recycling activity but several dealers in Florida Antique Shows/Puchstein Promotions have taken the idea to the next level. They are recycling the antiques themselves or at least parts of them into new forms and uses that will preserve some vestige of the original antique yet appeal to modern needs and tastes.
Three such dealers were set up at the January 22-24 edition of the Deland Antique Show at the Volusia County Fairgrounds in Deland, FL.
Bruce and Vickie Pantii of Breezy Palm Trading Company have a thing about plastic. More specifically they have a thing about Bakelite, the early plastic developed by Belgian chemist Dr. Leo Baekeland in 1907. The Bakelite formula was acquired by American Catalin Corporation in 1927 to produce the phenolic resins that make the durable plastic.
While Bakelite has many commercial and industrial applications one of the most popular uses was developed in the 1930s when it was used to make costume jewelry. The most popular and most expensive of those today are the carved bangle bracelets and figural pins.
Bruce Pantii said that ten years ago 90 percent of his sales were vintage items but his customers began requesting Bakelite bangles with polka dots but there just weren’t any left. He decided to make them. Now 90 per cent of his business is custom made signed “wearable art” made of pieces of Bakelite. He starts with a plain vintage Bakelite bangle and inserts polka dots made from Bakelite stock, usually ten inch tubes originally used as stock to make bangles that he has squirreled away over the last twenty years. These new style bracelets retail in the low to mid hundred dollars for standard widths and up to $500 for the wider ones. To make a more affordable bracelet five years ago he began casting bangles from a type of acrylic he calls “Vibrulite” and decorates them with Bakelite dots or bow ties. These sell in the $150 range. Pantii is selling both the medium and the art by recycling old Bakelite stock.
Want to buy a really junky old used up manual typewriter that no longer works? Neither does anyone else. But Roy and Rhonda Barske of Typewriter Jewelry are probably interested. Twelve years ago they started selling antiques and collectibles but couldn’t sell their inventory of used typewriters so they decided to recycle them. How? By using the letter in the keys. They are especially fond of old Corona’s because they have they have the best fonts. They started by removing the Bakelite or celluloid keys with good fonts and incorporating them into custom made sterling jewelry using custom made molds. They started with bracelets and have extended the line to include necklaces, earrings, pins, rings, cuff links, money clips, badge holders, key rings and many other assorted and clever uses including many made from suggestions by customers. Pendants and rings range from $25 to $45. Bangles