Sunday, June 1, 2014

It Happened in Washington....

                Hello, friends and friends of sustainable fashion!  I have been silent here for some time while I immersed myself in my studies at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore (fiber arts/costume design).  However a wonderful local product fell into my lap the other day.  Actually it fell into the seat next to me at Union Station.  I commented on a well-dressed gentleman's remarkable magenta socks, and I ended up learning about his remarkable cufflinks and other creations. 

                Paul Kerkhoven is a lobbyist for natural gas vehicles by day.  In his spare time he makes cufflinks and jewelry out of billiard balls he finds at flea markets.  These are really well-made, durable pieces crafted from re-purposed materials.  He also does pieces made from bowling balls, fossilized dinosaur dung and other intriguing, eye-catching materials.  This "bowlerite" ring is patterned after an ancient Egyptian one that pivots where the stone joins the band. 

                Frankly, I find "bowlerite" as visually interesting as any ruby.  And these are guilt-free, home-grown "gems."  You need never worry that some poor miner is being exploited in South Africa, or that your gems are "blood diamonds."  Instead these are gems mined from America's strange strata of engineered plastic detritus.  Paul's cufflink pieces retail for a little over $200.  They're available at Andrew's Ties in Union Station, at Scott Spahr's in Rehoboth Beach, DE, and at the Curtis Draper cigar stores downtown and in Bethesda.  You can also find his cufflinks on-line at Nanonut on Etsy.  You can even contact Paul at for a special order of particular numbers:

                These would make a great Father's Day gift or birthday gift for that special guy in your life.  Yay for men's jewelry!  Colorful socks are a great way to enjoy accessorizing too.  Go Paul!