Appalachia crafts

Appalachian Old Home Place Jewelry

Appalachian Old Home Place Jewelry

A few weeks ago I invited Blind Pig readers to come along on a hike with us (if you missed the hike you can click here to see it). B. Ruth left a comment on the post-giving us a dandy idea for the bits and pieces we find on our hikes.

The girls should get them a “rock tumbler” and “tumble” those glass shards they are always finding to smooth up the edges. Then a good jewelry wire, pliers to wrap it to hold it, add a loop and a jump ring and you have a piece of “Appalachian Old Home Place Jewelry”…I would buy a piece to hang on a chain around my neck, LET ME KNOW IF THEY MAKE SOME!…You see these made with “sea glass” all the time. A lot of sea glass is tumbled, it is not always found on the beach nice and smooth…LOL

Appalachian Old Home Place Jewlery 2


After I read B.’s comment I couldn’t wait to share it with the girls. Within a few days Chitter had a tumbler full of broken glass, pottery, and broken canning lid inserts going round and round. She let them tumble for a few days and the end result was really nice!

Tumbled glass for jewelry


The edges are smooth and some of the pieces came out of the tumbler with a different texture than they went in with.


The tumbler retained the shape of the jagged pieces of glass-simply smoothing and polishing them all over.

Crafts for old pieces of glass


I especially love how this piece kept the little Vs along the bottom.

Blind Pig and the Acorn Appalachian Old Home Place Jewlery


And just like B.Ruth said-once Chitter used some of her mad jewelry making skills on the tumbled pieces of glass-we had our very own Appalachian Old Home Place Jewelry.


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  • Reply
    April 18, 2014 at 6:24 am

    Hey, that turned out really well.. job well done…

  • Reply
    janet pressley
    April 18, 2014 at 3:31 am

    Love that piece she made! Beautiful!

  • Reply
    Peggy Lambert
    April 18, 2014 at 12:10 am

    Nice tumbling. I have never tumbled glass, just rocks. My tumbler is collecting dust and cob webs in the basement. I have been getting pieces of glass in the creek. We have always been rock hounds every where we were stationed. We even did it in Germany. Really pretty.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 17, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    For some reason B. Ruth’s “whale” put me in mind of a P-38 GI can opener at first, but I can see the whale too now. The mounted one reminds me of a shark’s tooth.

  • Reply
    Teresa Atkinson
    April 17, 2014 at 1:36 pm

    those are really neat. – Bobby and I discard the broken glass we find, but now maybe not.

  • Reply
    Ken Roper
    April 17, 2014 at 12:48 pm

    Your girls are really talented and
    they seem to listen to learn. Those
    pieces of antique glass and rocks look
    great. The wire wrap adds a touch of
    Indian Jewelry, very professional job.

  • Reply
    Julie Hughes
    April 17, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I love it. It would also look good with pieces of broken dishes. They could be memory necklaces.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 11:21 am

    Beautiful necklace!

  • Reply
    Joy Newer
    April 17, 2014 at 11:16 am

    Within Mother Earth there are many treasures that can be found. Chitter and Chatter Rocks speak to us when we take time to listen,they speak of history of long ago, they are great story tellers, they also have hidden beauties as you have found out,your necklace proved that.
    For years i was a rock and arrowhead hunter,many creek beds i waded and always came up with treasures,i am 81 years of age can no longer seek the treasures.

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    April 17, 2014 at 10:53 am

    I couldn’t stand it until I said I loved the 6th picture. Some lover of sea critters would love that “whale shaped” piece of mint green glass crafted into a necklace.
    Just take a small paintbrush end, dip it in white paint, dot it in the area where an eye would be on “whale head” end. Let dry! Take a smaller brush or toothpick and dip in black, dot it on the white. Let dry! If you want too, take a pin end, dip it back in the white and dot it on the black. That is the iris reflection! Let dry…wire it up and hang it, ready to go! I love whales myownself….
    Wish I could be there crafting with the girls…
    Thanks Tipper,
    PS…don’t use the brush part, only the end of the wooden brush for perfect dots. Practice on a piece of paper first…to get the “knack of it”!

  • Reply
    b. Ruth
    April 17, 2014 at 10:26 am

    Wow! Imagine my surprise when I read your post a few minutes ago.
    I just love the work your girls have done. I am so pleased that they followed thru with the craft. Now when asked about their necklace they can say, “This old thing, why it’s just a piece of Bromo Seltzer jar from my Great Grandparents field!” Actually then, they would really mean it…LOL I love the cobalt blue pieces, from Bromo Seltzer, Milk of Magnesia, Vicks Salve, etc. The old milk glass turned out well too…The milk glass zinc lid inserts are definitly a thing of the past. When I was a young girl, I used to pick up pieces of them in my Grannys chicken yard, I don’t have them now. I wish I did, I would ship them to the girls and let them craft me a necklace…The long narrow pieces of glass; two pieces can be wired in the shape of a cross, just x wire around the two pieces. They are beautiful, too.
    I will be sending in an order for my (Pressley) Appalachian Old Home Place Jewelry soon.
    I love crafts, I love teaching crafts and art. I love children that are open-minded to ideas and crafts…I don’t have a teaching degree, but have taught art and crafts to many at homeroom schools, scouts and those just asking or NOT…lol
    Thanks Tipper and girls…
    Don’t you wish you could tell and show the passed on relatives what you have made with the artifacts that they worked hard to aquire and used in their lifetime…
    How did the pottery shards turn out…Would love to see one of those too…

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Lovely. Maybe idockery can make bolos for the boys in the family. My sons wore those frequently as youth and teens and still wear them today. My father much prefers them to ties!
    Dolores might want to be on the lookout for “Rock shows” or “Gem and Mineral Shows” – – one can find all sorts of wonderful creations made from rocks, minerals, gems, and fossils there as well as the tools (including rock tumblers) for making them. Don’t be afraid to bargain! (or “jaw down” – yes, that’s with an “a”) the price.
    Nice work on the necklace!!

  • Reply
    Paula Rhodarmer
    April 17, 2014 at 9:42 am

    So interesting and creative!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 9:37 am

    I’ve heard about rock tumblers but never wanted one until now. Great idea.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 9:33 am

    Good job, girls. The necklace is really pretty. You could go into business!

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 17, 2014 at 9:29 am

    Speaking of tumbling rocks, who remembers driving dirt roads and getting rocks in your hubcaps? Or putting them in somebody else’s? If I had thought they would come out as pretty as yours, I might have put in more.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 9:06 am

    I’ve never heard of a rock tumbler. The finished piece in the picture is amazing.

  • Reply
    Eva Nell Mull Wike
    April 17, 2014 at 9:05 am

    Tipper: A WORD OF WARNING!
    If those girls get more creative you will not be able to keep them close-by!
    BUT I hope you are close-by tonight at the Folk School. That Ethelene has provided me with Byron Herbert Reece’s poem “Mountain Fiddler” with which I will begin my presentation. It pays to have friends like Ethelene – especially when you come from the ‘back-woods’ of the Cove!
    Eva Nell

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 8:48 am

    Dolores-thank you for the comment! I’ve seen tumblers on Ebay and on Amazon as well. And I’m sure there are other places too : )
    Blind Pig The Acorn
    Celebrating and Preserving the
    Culture of Appalachia

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 8:41 am

    all of this was news to me. i had never heard of a rock tumbler but definitely purchasing one. as i too go treasure hunting in all these woods around me. cannot wait. i love the pieces how they came out and love the making of your girls jewelry!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 8:28 am

    Wow! I didn’t realize that was how the glass was smoothed out. I work with beads and string, but never did anything with wire. What a beautiful and unique piece of jewelry. Where does one find a tumbler for that type of thing?

  • Reply
    Ethelene Dyer Jones
    April 17, 2014 at 8:02 am

    How beautiful! The reason I like Blind Pig so much is how much we learn! Always something interesting! The glass tumbling photos are great, and the resulting jewelry eye-catching! Thank you, Pressley ladies, and thank you, B. Ruth!

  • Reply
    Sheryl Paul
    April 17, 2014 at 7:51 am

    Those turned out so nice, what a great idea.

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 7:39 am

    Wow! Those do look great! What a good idea. I have a bunch of old glass from where our house burned in ’58/’59. I knew I had saved it for something!! All the little girls in my family are going to get presents! Maybe some of the little boys too!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 17, 2014 at 7:19 am

    That’s beautiful, and what a great idea! Thanks B Ruth for the idea. I see a whole new line of jewelry coming!

  • Reply
    April 17, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Oh oh oh! Those are SO pretty! Well done, Chatter and Chitter! And what a great idea B.Ruth!

  • Reply
    Darlene Debty Kimsey
    April 17, 2014 at 6:26 am


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