She studied illustration at Columbus College of Art and Design, but after one jewelry-making class, Hannah Thees’s art took a sharp turn. “Sitting at the bench with all the tools in front of me was so cool. I knew right away that I wanted to switch my focus,” Thees says. Now, instead of drawing, she spends her time sawing, filing, heating, bending, and polishing spoons, forks, and the occasional knife to create bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and rings. Why work in silverware? Thees has long collected spoons, picking up pieces at flea markets and antique stores across the country. Her extensive collection proved a perfect stock of raw material to experiment with, and thus was born Spoonsandsuch as a business.
Thees joined Etsy in January 2013 (etsy.com/shop/spoonsandsuch), and since then her work has been featured at the Oakley Fancy Flea and Crafty Supermarket, among other craft shows, as well as shops like Hi-Bred in East Walnut Hills and Dandy Haberdashery in Pleasant Ridge. Spoon (and fork…and knife…) jewelry is nothing new, but Thees offers a more modern take on the genre. Recently, she began creating statement pieces from fork tines, flattened spoon bowls, and other spare parts that would otherwise be left for the scrap pile. She often incorporates colorful beads, delicate chains, and recycled pieces from vintage jewelry to add more interest. “I like changing an object’s purpose—taking something old that isn’t being used and making it useful in a different way,” she says.
To craft pendants, Thees typically uses souvenir and vintage spoons featuring ornate floral designs or detailed portraits and cityscapes in the bowls. Alongside the more fanciful pieces, she still makes classic spoon rings, too. The floral patterns offer a more traditional look; geometric patterns add a striking modern feel. She aims to make the most of her materials. “I try to get at least two pieces of jewelry out of each piece of silverware,” she says. All the more reason to make it a set.
Perhaps the best part is that Thees does custom work. Send her a utensil (so that souvenir spoon collecting dust can finally find a use) or choose your favorite from her collection and collaborate on a personalized design. “I was once asked to do a large family order using an entire set of silverware that a grandmother passed down to one of her daughters,” Thees says. “I made 28 matching rings for aunts, uncles, cousins, siblings, and grandchildren. Everyone got to have a piece of grandma’s silver.”
(Left to right)
Delicate, modern floral-patterned earrings, for granddaughters and grandmothers alike, $18
Wear these spoon handle bracelets alone—or with other bangles for a layered look, $30
Fork tines, flattened spoon bowls, and beads come together for a funky statement pendant, $38
That’s A Wrap
Classic spoon rings come in a variety of patterns for a look that will stand the test of time, $22
Item photographs by Anna Jones/OMS.
Originally published in the July 2014 issue.