Most of the components for my vintage inspired jewelry are found right here in New England using locally sourced vintage textiles, buttons, and costume jewelry, and with up-cycled materials such as discarded findings and components from bygone jewelry manufactures. People are often surprised to find out that by the 1950’s most of the world’s costume jewelry was being made in America, and most American costume jewelry was made on the East Coast in Rhode Island and New York City, with glass “stones” imported from Swarovski and other European manufacturers.
The Brimfield Antiques Show is the largest outdoor antiques show in the world, with over 6,000 dealers and 130,000 visitors during the course of one week, held three time a year in May, July and September. I always look forward to attending! While I refer to it as “Brimfield”, the show is actually comprised of 23 fields, owned by individual promoters who lease spaces to dealers from all over the world. The large fields of venders are located on a mile long stretch of a two-lane road (both sides!) just outside the town of Brimfield, in central Massachusetts.The Brimfield Antiques week starts off with a one day indoor Vintage Textile and Vintage Clothing Show in nearby Sturbridge. Approximately 250 Vendors set up at the Host Hotel, selling everything imaginable related to vintage fashion and textiles. I always look forward to the vintage buttons from Byson Buttons, and this year I found trims from the Tinsel Trading Company.
It is not possible to capture the amazing array of style and personality at the shows, not to mention all of the items for sale! Last year I saw some fashionistas walking around with a TV camera, but many of the vendors don’t allow pictures in their booths. Instead I furiously make notes in my sketchbook, endlessly inspired by the colors and textures of so many treasures. And, I feel very lucky to have a wealth of knowledgeable sellers in my own back yard. I look forward to chatting with people at Brimfield about jewelry history and culture as much as I do discovering a new piece for my collections.