I recently heard of a jewelry designer named Mark Davis who takes vintage bakelite and re-designs them into something fabulous. Bakelite is one of those rare finds at an estate sale or flea market that make one quiet and head for the cashier. When it’s in good condition, and especially when it’s of unusual design, it tends to be rather expensive, so those who collect are on the slow-and-steady. Though I don’t own any pieces, I have a deep appreciation for the historicity and craft, and look forwarding to having a bangle some day!
This was included in an SK email about his trunk show – I was so disappointed to miss it! But, I did make it to the jewelry department to see it in person – if you’re in the Dallas area, you should make plans to go!
Info on the designer, also from Stanley Korshak:
Mark Davis, master artisan of Bakelite, a synthetic-resin chemically formulated plastic material of yesteryear. Bakelite, for Mark, is not just any medium, but a medium he has come to understand and love, a medium from a different time and place – from the pre-1940s before people started making jewelry with petrochemicals and petroleum products. Bakelite is 100% man-made, a material from a time when life was slower and things seemed to have more meaning.
Mark works the Bakelite like ivory, and, in fact, describes the material as post-modern ivory. Bakelite must be cast, each piece sliced, cut, shaped. It is an intensive work of love, with so many steps involved that pieces sometimes take months to complete. Because Bakelite is not currently made, it has to be collected from pre-existing sources, procured in whatever size, shape, and condition it can be found in. Mark then carves, reshapes, and reconfigures the pieces to give them new life.