How we take used F1 cars and upcycle them into jewellery, in collaboration with Racing Gold!
Sustainability and Upcycling were the key goals for this partnership… And doing it in style was also key!
Proudly presenting the Alyssa Smith Carbon collection. First released in Spring 2019, this iconic collection of jewellery takes upcycling to another level. Alyssa had been looking for new ways to explore the theme of motorsports jewellery- but as something completely different from her usual style of ‘miniature’ replicas. She also became extremely keen on the concept of upcycling and re-using, as we all try to become more sustainable in our daily lives.
The carbon collection is created by two creative brains, Alyssa, and John from Racing Gold. Both Hertfordshire based businesses, the two came together late 2018 to explore the possibilities of working together, realising their businesses- although completely different from one another, had a lot of synergy. John is well recognised at one end of the motorsports spectrum, creating large installations and artworks from used formula one car parts, whilst Alyssa worked at the other end of the spectrum on a tiny scale, to create wearable artwork- what she likes to call ‘miniature masterpieces’.
Both agreed from the early stages of their brain storming, that whatever the collaborations final pieces ended up looking like, the focus would be on upcycling, and being able to turn something that was otherwise useless and discarded, and give it a new life to be enjoyed for years to come.
The duo began combining meticulous design work and prototyping with precision engineering, and the first Carbon pieces were released in 2019.
TAKING IT BACK TO BASICS…ONE PART AT A TIME
The first carbon collection was an absolute hit, and the pair of creative minds realised the demand for something really unique, such as this concept of re-using, and ‘wearable history’ was definitely there, and something they would like to explore further, and so they began to put their mind to creating more designs (armed with lots of coffee and biscuits of course!) Pushing the boundaries of what they had already made, and what they could do to surprise people even more was so exciting.
Taking the cars apart bit by bit to see exactly what can be used is one of the best bits of coming up with a new concept, because it is at this stage that the brainstorming really begins. Of course, some design ideas never make it to release, but many of them do.
” John and I used to sit down and just talk for hours about what could ‘be’! It was crazy when we first began working together, because I’d see John come out of his office with a huge wing from a red bull formula one car, and knowing that it was going to be taken apart, cut down and turned into something really tiny was just the most exciting thing! I almost felt guilty that we were going to be taking these wonderful pieces of cars apart, but actually – by taking something huge and splitting it into tiny individual pieces, it allows many people to wear a memory and a real part of history around their neck, or on their charm bracelets!”
Our partners at Racing Gold have previously created a collection of amazing memorabilia, including tables, lights, clocks and salt and pepper pots from parts and components previously used by Red Bull in their racing cars. That same carbon fibre (the leftovers, anyway!) is the carbon fibre that is used in the Alyssa Smith Carbon Collection.
DESIGN AND MANUFACTURE OF CARBON
The designs in the carbon collections are both eye pleasing and simple to look at in way of design and shape, but also incredibly challenging and fiddly to design and manufacture. All of our carbon fibre that is used in these jewellery collections is actually finished on equipment installed way back in 1961, which was also used to create components for droids and suits for the original STAR WARS movies. This is a true fact! So not only does the carbon collection allow you to wear something new, made from something old, but it also holds another dimension of history from the way it has been created. Our partner studio for our incredible carbon is in Borhemwood, whilst our other workshop to finish the jewellery is in Letchworth- both workshops are in Hertfordshire so it is easy to pop from one to the other whenever we need to.
LIKE SNOWFLAKES… BUT NOT SNOWFLAKES
Each and every carbon piece to be created into this stunning jewellery has been hand made by Racing Gold and Alyssa Smith Jewellery, meaning that no two creations will ever be exactly the same….Just like snowflakes or fingerprints. But saying that, each piece of carbon jewellery receives the exact same amount of attention and care during the cutting, drilling, manufacture, assemble and packaging process – from start to finish, this upcycled collection is something a bit extra special. Each carbon piece comes complete with a carbon information card, which is ideal for keeping as a reminder of where your piece came from.
Carbon designs have ranged from small and chunky beads, to framed carbon squares and circles, and even incredible shapes including stars and hearts, and have been featured in publications including MOTORSPORT magazine.
Taking used and redundant car parts, and turning them into something tiny, beautiful and wearable that can be enjoyed right now and also in years to come is an absolute passion of Alyssa’s. And what’s more is that the jewellery created by Alyssa all has one thing in common- it’s a talking point.
” Of course, the collections are always limited run batches as the car does eventually run out, believe it or not!But in my eyes, that’s the beauty of it! Knowing that the design we are making won’t be available forever (or in most cases, for long!) is really something special.”