Earrings out of Recycled Skateboard Wheels?
That’s right! We’ve been making these earrings for a couple years now, but as the design has been perfected and the word has been spread, these hoops are really starting to make waves.
You might be asking yourself: “why the wheels? I thought MapleXO’s jewelry was all from the skateboard decks?”
The decks are definitely our main focus because there are SO many of them that need to be recycled.
I couldn’t just ignore the wheels though. I couldn’t just ignore the fact that skateboard wheels are made from polyurethane; that polyurethane is made up of petroleum; that petroleum is part of the reason why we’re in a war; that it’s a virtually non-biodegradable material. I knew I needed to figure out a way to recycle these.
Beyond just the material, it started driving me nuts to realize how most skateboarders I know (myself included) typically switch out all four wheels if they ruin just one. This means that perfectly good wheels were going straight to a landfill to sit for thousands of years. That was the last straw for me. The ideas started piling up and experiments began. When I first wanted to recycle skateboard wheels I knew nothing about the material and spent a full week trying to figure out how to melt it and re-mold it. These experiments included blow torching, boiling, micro-waving, and baking … none of which I would recommend trying. I guess I could say that my persistence forced my muses down another path. I finally I ditched the melting idea and began cutting into the wheels. After the first cut, I saw my earrings and knew exactly how I wanted them to look.
The final product is a very thin, light, wheel-shaped earring that comes in just about every color (we hand dye them in natural pigments) and hangs from sterling silver ear-wires. Since skateboard wheels come in many different sizes, the earrings range from 1.5” in circumference to almost 3". Retailing at just $24, these handmade pieces are inexpensive enough to be sold at independent skate shops as well as boutiques.
One of the main reasons why I love skateboarding is because it lets you experience the environment around you and appreciate it.
When you appreciate something, you take care of it, give back to it, and just be kind to it… so maybe that’s why we made them: Recycled Skateboard Wheel Earrings… by MapleXO