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Recycled rubber jewelry makes an earth friendly fashion statement
By Heather Warlick
| Published: January 29, 2013
Stepping into the Nichols Hills home of Sandra and Ira Schlezinger, it's clear you're in the presence of art enthusiasts. The home is like a gallery, and houses spectacular pieces from the couples' 48 years together.
Sandra Schlezinger has been an artist all her life, she said.
“If you're an artist it kind of follows you around and never leaves you,” she said. From fabric art, knitting and crocheting to pottery, her art is never far from her fingertips.
Schlezinger's latest artistic endeavor combines her love of creativity with an earth-focused emphasis on reusing, reducing and recycling.
Ira Schlezinger said he “saves everything.” When he had some innertubes from bike and tractor tires, he couldn't just throw them away.
“The rubber, I thought, would be an interesting canvas,” he said. So he offered it to his wife who saw more than just some worn rubber. She saw wearable art.
Out came all the old beads, stones and pieces of jewelry Sandra Schlezinger had been collecting. Pottery beads from Africa, rocks from here, charms from there. With some experimentation, she transformed what many would see as worthless into interesting and unusual pieces of wearable art — necklaces, bracelets, earrings and belts.
Sandra Schlezinger's recycled inner tube jewelry is gaining popularity. Her jewelry is sold at Route 66 in 50 Penn Place and she is planning to expand into some galleries on the east and west coast.