MARQUETTE - Trading playful banter and stories around the table, the group of around 10 women sat with fingers working busily to turn old newspaper and magazine strips into colorful beads for necklaces.
Part of a monthly art project series sponsored by the Marquette Senior Center, participants this month used recycled items, including old jewelry pieces in combination with their newly-created beads to make new necklaces, bracelets and anklets.
"It's a fun way to recycle," said instructor Janey Joffee, sophomore art and design student at Northern Michigan University. "They're fun because they turn out really colorful."
Starting with long, thin triangles of paper, the finished beads reveal layers of different colors, and create a lightweight piece of jewelry. (Journal photo by Johanna Boyle)
Beginning with used pieces of paper with colorful backgrounds or pictures, class participants cut out long, thin triangle shapes.
Those pieces were then wrap around thin bamboo skewers, beginning with the short side of the triangle, so that each wrap around the skewer showed a thinner and thinner layer.
Once each person had a variety of beads in different colors, the beads are finished using a decoupage transparent sealer and slipped off the skewers.
"You can use gift wrap, newspapers, magazines," Joffee said. "It's kind of a surprise at the end."
Once their beads dried, the class strung them into necklaces or other jewelry items, combining them with other beads or pieces from broken or unused jewelry brought from home.
The paper beads make a colorful but light project for the seniors.
Johanna Boyle can be reached at 906-486-4401. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.