Jon loves me so much he invented something for me: Solar Panel Jewelry. It was such a hit with our friends and family that he’s continuing to experiment with forms and techniques and now he’s selling it online and he will exhibit pieces at an upcoming art show.
How does loving me turn into creating solar panel jewelry? Last winter I started working as the Energy Efficiency Coordinator in our city and included in a long list of things that I do I work with the 100 kW wind turbine in our city and I’m working on the project to install solar panels on our schools. One thing I quickly noticed is that men in the renewable energy field can buy ties with wind turbines on them, and both my husband and the Mayor have such ties. Since I need to dress professionally while at work, I started to poke around for some earrings or other jewelry with wind turbines or solar panels or something on them that I could wear. Having no luck and knowing that I’m very difficult to buy for, I told Jonathan that I’d love some jewelry that reflects the renewable energy field.
Jonathan searched for months for jewelry for me and had absolutely no luck! Not one earring with a wind turbine or solar panel on it. He did eventually find a $1,000+ necklace with solar panels, but it’s truly not my style.
This fall our city hosted a table at the Boston Museum of Science for a renewable energy fair, and as a member of our former Clean Energy Committee, Jonathan was helping staff the table. One of the other tables exhibits had researchers from an MIT lab with a touch and feel exhibit featuring the components that go into making solar panels. Jonathan noticed that the photovoltaic wafers kept breaking. A lightbulb went off and he had the brilliant idea of using lamination to turn bits of the broken cells into earrings. He spoke with the exhibitors and at the end of the fair they happily gave him the box of broken cells that were headed for the garbage can.
Unbenownst to me, he consulted with friends about earrings, laminated some pieces, purchased jewelry parts to make earrings and presented me with a pair of solar panel earrings for our anniversary!
When I showed them off around work, the Mayor’s secretary exclaimed “He has to make a tie tac for the Mayor! That would be great!”
Jonathan was happy to take the challenge on and talked with friends who have made jewelry and quickly dove into working with epoxy and other jewelry parts. The orders have quickly been pouring in from friends and family and he has made and sold dangling earrings, stud earrings, tie tacs, pins, cuff links and he even made me a necklace on short order to wear to the Holiday Pageant at our church.
He’s excited to expand his jewelry making hobby and you can find a changing selection of his work on his Etsy Store: Solar Panel Jewelry.
When asked what they power his favorite answer is “The Imagination!”
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