When I first moved to Phoenix and started exploring all the local boutiques and such, I kept seeing these fun necklaces with elephant pendants that were crafted from forks. There were also numerous rings, again, crafted from forks and such. The brand behind Elefork and other fascinating jewelry, handcrafted from old silverware, is called Spoonsen Forksen. Spoonsen Forksen is the brainchild of Andrea Bapst- a Phoenix local with a flair for creativity in the art of jewelry making. I “officially” met her at made. a local market recently. I was able to chat with her while viewing her extensive inventory of fun pieces made from fancy silverware of by-gone eras. Not only does she do all the selling, but she also custom-fits the rings for the customer right there on the spot.
Heather Petrey: Tell me a little about yourself and how that transitioned into your love of jewelry making?
Andrea Bapst: I have always been creative, since I was a kid. I loved beading jewelry as a kid. My dad is a painter. I get my creative side from him. Aurelio, my business partner and husband has always been into graffiti and graphic art. He has an amazing hand, and mind. The two of us together, the possibilities have been endless. When I am doubtful or feeling challenged by a custom order or project, he shows me it CAN be done. When he is looking for inspiration, he looks to me, his “muse”, as he calls me. A couple of peas in a pod.
Heather Petrey: How did you get started in creating pieces out of silverware?
Andrea Bapst: So we went on our first trip to San Francisco in 2005 and saw this man on the street corner hammering (who knows what). We were curious, we approached and our minds were blown! He was hammering spoon rings. And forks with stones twisted into them. His hands were black and the craft looked SO physical (it really is). We stared and appreciated each one in his tray for what felt like an hour. I asked my husband to buy me one and he said “no. Let’s go home and make them.” Well, at that moment I thought he was high. A week later there we were scouring antique shops for spoons en forks! FYI, we broke a lot of shit the first year of our spoon ring making adventure of Spoonsen Forksen.
Heather Petrey: Tell me about your brand…
Andrea Bapst: We are all about elevating the traditional craft of silverware art. We have a modern twist on it and we laugh a lot when creating our quirky pieces. We want to connect with people. And we want people to connect with our jewelry. We want people to laugh. Our Elefork pendants are our most popular item. The name is funny, clever, simple, and the symbolisms are sweet- friendship, loyalty, and strength. Silverware jewelry is like cheating in a way, the patterns are already there. They’re gorgeous, some monogrammed, once loved and used for formal dining. All we do is transform it to become wearable. Today, silverware holds very little value to families and formal dining is lost. We love repurposing what would just sit in someone’s storage or china cabinet.
Heather Petrey: How did you come up with the name?
Andrea Bapst: The most common question I ask dealers is “Did you get any spoons and forks in?” I’m a mumbler I guess, so it sounds like Spoonsenforksen. Yes! Spoonsenforksen! That’s how the name came about.
Heather Petrey: Where do you get some of your unique vintage silverware?
Andrea Bapst: All of our silverware is purchased throughout Arizona. When we travel to California, we search for it there. We are so lucky to have built strong relationships with antique dealers and estate sale managers. They frequently contact us about some of the things they score. We drive all around the valley every single week to hunt for silverware.
Heather Petrey: What is the oldest piece you’ve found? And most unique?
Andrea Bapst: The oldest pattern we found was Assyrian Goddess, an 1886 original manufacture date. The most incredible details… and it is my favorite ring to wear.
Heather Petrey: Where can people find you?
Andrea Bapst: You can find the Spoonsen Forksen pop-up shop every Sunday at Desoto Market in downtown Phoenix. We are located in 10 boutiques throughout Arizona. Shop listings can be found in our Etsy shop.
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