I love to meet new people who are so passionate about bicycling, that they have turned their passion in to a full time job.
One such person I would like to introduce you to is Becky Tesch. Born and raised in Milwaukee WI, Becky’s hands have been busy making things since she can remember. Becky has been making and selling her art since she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee in 2000. She primarily uses found objects and turns them into art or jewelry.
Other people’s trash is Becky’s treasure. Since Becky is also an avid bicycle commuter, mountain biker, and mountain bike instructor what you might see as a worn out chain or old tube, she sees as art supplies.
“Making things has always been irresistible for me,” Becky writes on her Facebook page. “Since I was big enough to hold a scissors and a glue bottle, I’ve been repurposing things. Gift boxes became dollhouse beds, decoupaged with the pages of magazines and fabric scraps from my Mom’s sewing table.”
“I started getting into bicycles in college, riding around campus. I met my hubby Andrew (now the manager at Erik’s new shop on Silver Spring Drive) through cycling friends, and when we first moved in together, he was a bike mechanic and there were bike parts all over the house.” But Becky could see beauty hidden under the grease and she started using the stuff he threw away. Chains and inner tubes have turned out to be the most fun and versatile materials, but other bike parts made their way into her designs as well.
Becky’s company, Chain Stay Jewelry and Design, cranks out a crazy and wonderful array of handmade things, integrating reclaimed/recycled materials. Her best work is beautiful, tough looking jewelry made with recycled bicycle parts. Bike chain bracelets, inner tube necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
Becky’s work challenges traditional ideas about what is precious. Rather than use gold and gems, She takes industrial items that have been discarded, and makes them into beautiful functional objects.
To see more of Becky’s work, or to make a purchase visit her Etsy Store here.