Sunday, November 23, 2008

Nicology in action

This fence, made with a car hood, pieces of oil drums, bits of corrugated siding, and who knows what else, is beautiful. I can imagine thise fence in an urban art gallery with a contemporary art-speak analysis as to how it represents a meta-analysis of the semiotics of the fallacies of post-industrial illusions harbored by the global elite, and concretizes the unrealized collective imaginings of the cybergeneration´s links to its materials past. Or something like that.

So this is me, in case you didn´t know. Leydi was into the necklace she was making and didn´t look up.


We are starting to create our own designs to display in the bottle caps, based on photos of objects transformed. Celena had painted a series of hearts with wings on the scrap metal back fence of her family´s house, and it seems a fitting symbol for how their will to thrive persists.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

graphic cascade

This necklace uses caps from a small town in Bavaria, mixed with graphics from a Spanish design magazine.

Make an impression!

If I wear one of these out on a Saturday night people can't stop looking at my chest...for the stunning necklace, of course!

Cute little critters

OK, so this is some of the magic that comes from whimsy. Is it a latter day teletubbie?

2 in 1 bracelets

The graphics on the back side of these caps come from Patadeperro, Managua´s cultural activities magazine. The name means dog foot, and if you like to go out a lot you have pata de perro. A little Nica cultcha for ya.

Pendant-style necklaces

These are two-in-one necklaces, created either by putting 2 caps back to back or by inlaying an image in the back of the cap. Here we have the Jack of Hearts....

Monday, October 20, 2008

Keychains! Llaveros!

Keychains with a little something extra...And they're not only for keys! One of our musician friends put the long one on his guitar strap. Flair!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Vote Nicology and GiveMeaning!

Greetings. I am applying to GiveMeaning, a Canadian NGO that hosts online fundraising pages for socially-minded projects. In order to qualify Nicology must receive 100 votes of confidence before Nov 15. Your vote in no way commits you to donating money. It only indicates that you think the project is worthy of a spot on GiveMeanings fundraising site. GiveMeaning could be very helpful to Nicology because, unlike many other sites, it has no fees or commissions, and donors can take a tax deduction. So click and vote! It´s good practice for Nov 4.....


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Quite a young lady

This is Leydi, pronounced Lay-di, modelling her latest design - hoop earrings made from the plastic rings left over after you unscrew the cap of a bottle of juice. Leydi likes to come after school with her friend Yorling. For them it is an after-school activity, probably the first organized extra-curricular they have ever had.

One recent day Leydi told me she wanted to bring her doll to the next class. I thought she meant a barbie or rag doll. The next class she proudly presented me a doll she made with bottle caps and wire, complete with a snakeskin dress! She took home a bag of materials to play with over the weekend, so don´t be surprised if you see LeydiDolls online soon.

Leydi´s mother, who works with me, said the only way she can keep all her children in school is with the help of a US priest who buys their uniforms, books and school supplies. The government doesn´t provide these and children are not allowed to attend school without a uniform and shoes. The extra money Leydi may make by selling jewelry (or dolls!) will help confirm her belief that she doesn't have to work in the garbage when she grows up.

more fancy earrings

San Miguel, from our trip to Spain this year.

Stella Artois

Good old Michelob gets a makeover

The letter H, decorated

Any thoughts on putting beads on the bottlecap faces? Like it? No? Feedback welcome and very appreciated!

Soda pop

Coke with piercing - a twist on a classic

Fresca with double piercing

The women and girls of Nicology came up with the idea of adorning the faces of the bottle caps. What do you think? Thank you for feedback!

Nicology... because no one is disposable

Friday, October 10, 2008

Necklaces - Collares

Triple cap flat Magic Hat
Triple cap limited edition Zaragoza Expo 2008 caps

Single strand, single cap, stiff wire
Una tapa, alambre

Bracelets - Pulseras

Triple strand

triple strand with flat cap

chain link flat

Monday, September 29, 2008

Thank yous

I would like to take a moment to thank some of the organizations, businesses and individuals who have supported Nicology with in-kind donations of bottle caps, working space, vinyl movie posters, and valuable moral support and advice.

Rustico Restaurant, Alexandria, VA,
Magaly Galdo-Martinez
Cine Galerias
Joanna Hirst

Thanks! This is just the beginning!

Flat caps

The idea of flattening the caps came from a group of girls in one of my first classes. There were a few who really relished wielding that hammer!

Flat caps can be made into one-sided or double-sided earrings. The double-sided earrings shown here are extra-special because the caps from Tahiti are hard to come by. They also demonstrate the double-stranded mount.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Simple, classic earrings

The basic bottle cap, understated, for showing off your recycled style at the office. We can make them with any cap and bead colors we have in stock.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Chapas de Tapas!

Chapas - Nicaraguan for earrings
Tapas - Nicaraguan for bottle caps (not Spanish small plates of yummies)

Support a Social Start-up AND be fashion-forward!

You are being issued a special invitation to be among the first to have the fashion-forward accessories of Nicology. The women of Nicology and their families live in and around La Chureca, Managua's massive municipal dump. Several of the women otherwise work collecting tossed plastic bottles from the streets of the city, and sell them for pennies a day to consolidators who ship them to other countries for reprocessing.

This is Maria and her son Moises. In addition to collecting bottles Maria is a part-time domestic maid. Full-time maids earn around $200 a month.

We are ready to offer our unique jewelry for sale. As my goal is to pay the women as much as possible, I am trying a direct sales approach.

Here´s where YOU come in!

BROWSE the photos.

SELECT a design. Or several! Select a piece of jewelry for yourself, your honey, a friend, your favorite barista, your hair stylist..

ORDER by making a blog comment beneath the photo. You can request colors, styles, or specific bottle caps, and we will do our best to accomodate you within our inventory or caps.

PRICES are listed for different styles. Certain design elements are more expensive, such as the stones, and will raise the price.

DONATE when you pay, consider making an extra investment in the women of Nicology. Think of it as venture capital with a massive return in personal satisfaction.

SEND or GIVE your payment to:

Joanna Hirst in San Diego, email

Kevin in Chicago, email

in Washington, DC, email

Deadline to be sure your jewelry is delivered before the December holidays is:

Your city contact will notify you when your jewelry is available for pick-up in early December.

We don't only need your money, we need YOU! You can

spread the word to your friends,

refer us to a local gift shop,

host a selling party,

volunteer to sell at an arts and crafts fair where you live,

provide business counsel if you know anything about selling things online or exporting or fair trade markets,

make us a project of your church, or company, or yoga studio

help with distribution (we can't ship one by one from Nicaragua)
come visit us!

Be part of the fun!