Industrial designer Ben Gould of Waltham has been working with reclaimed materials for the last decade. Now he is relying on the public to help his new company turn scrap metal into fine jewelry.
Since launching his LifeCycle appeal on the website Kickstarter.com on Jan. 9, Gould had raised nearly $2,400 in pledges from 54 individuals as of midweek, in return for bracelets, earrings, and key chains fashioned from bicycle chains. He must reach his $10,000 goal by Feb. 18 or all donations will be canceled by Kickstarter, a public funding platform for projects in the art, music, film, technology, design, food, publishing, and other creative fields.
According to Gould, the average bike shop each month produces 25 to 40 pounds of discarded chain, adding up to a lot of metal that often ends up in landfills.
He is working to establish a network of bike shops nationwide that will ship discarded chains to him (at his expense) for repurposing.
Gould’s bracelets, for example, are available in a range of colors, stainless steel, and electroplated chrome, silver, and 10-karat gold. He cleans the links with biodegradable degreasers, and then cold-forges the material into an accordion-like loop that expands over the wearer’s hand.
He hopes that the bracelets will be the first of many products made under the LifeCycle name. Gould intends to use any money he raises for shipping costs, tools, and the metal-plating process.
For more information, visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/bengould/lifecycle-bracelets.