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Enjoy San Joaquin Valley Living

Lisa Noel, New Again Design

Oct 08, 2014 01:43PM ● By Brandi Barnett

The Jewelry Maker

October/November 2014
Store Front

ENJOY: How did New Again Design start?
LISA: I’ve been making jewelry for about 12 years. It started because I was selling repurposed things on eBay. I would take raw metal brackets and bury them to take the rust off and bring them back to life. But this kind of repurposing was so time-consuming, and these heavy things were such a challenge to ship, that I realized I should try to deal in something lighter. So I started looking around for vintage jewelry to sell. I accumulated a lot of junk jewelry pretty quickly, and eventually I just had so much that I started trying to make things out of it: adding little things to bracelets, putting together collage necklaces out of odd earrings and brooches, and just making the pieces my own.

ENJOY: Can you tell us a bit about your process and materials?
LISA: I’m always wanting to learn new things. I have a lot of ideas swirling around in my head, so I do bounce around a bit. I work a lot with copper now, and I got into that because a friend of my husband’s has an air conditioning store and they have a lot of scrap copper. I got the tools that I needed to make shapes out of the metal, and I hammer and torch it to get the different patinas to come out. I also like to enamel the copper sometimes.
But the Raku process is what I am really excited about lately. I got into this technique because I have a small kiln now. A friend and I like to work together. Thursday night is our girls’ night to go out somewhere or do something, but usually we are just in at the kitchen table working on our Raku beads. Part of the Raku process is that you have to take the beads out of the kiln when they are extremely hot, and it’s just amazing when you take something out and it’s so fiery…we’re just screaming out loud with excitement. It’s a great new adventure for us.

ENJOY: Why are you so drawn to the method of repurposing?
LISA: Well, I’ve always salvaged all my raw materials. I go to yard sales, I go to thrift stores…I try to collect the metal fixings in barns or garages that are just going to be thrown away. The stuff that everybody else walks by, that’s what I like.
I also love repurposing things for jewelry because it really surprises people. I love to show people what you can give new life to. It’s almost tricking them, really, showing them something that they think is brand new, but then they look closer and see what it really is. Like, oh no, it’s not just copper, it’s a penny that I put enamel on. I like that sort of thing.
Sometimes people will ask me to do something with jewelry that is left to them by a loved one. Like a piece that they want to keep, but which isn’t really their style. So I’ll turn it into something that they will wear, and that way I can help them kind of immortalize that memory, and give it new life.

ENJOY: What does the future hold for you?
LISA: I’d like to keep making jewelry for as long as I can. My goal was to be in four stores before I retire, and now I’m in more than that, so that’s great! When I do retire, I want to be in a lot of different places. I want to be taking road trips. I want to have my SUV with a trailer behind it, going cross-country to craft fairs and art shows, and exploring the different creative communities out there.

Lisa Noel is a lifelong resident of Porterville. Her designs can be found in her online shop, as well as at Embellish & Restore in Visalia.

New Again Design • (559) 310-4994 •