Repurposing Jewelry That Contains Painful Energy from the Past

I envision the aftermath of loss as akin to the miraculous phenomenon of the caterpillar transforming into a butterfly. For period of time, while the caterpillar body disintegrates within the chrysalis, it becomes a mixture of imaginal cells, a cocktail of possibility, old and new combining to become something entirely different. It is nature at her best: raw, messy and painful. But, there is so much possibility in that mess.

I believe this is true for humans, and jewelry too.

By nature, I am a serial purger. I have kept all my children’s artwork, favorite blankets and toys, but beyond that I have a tendency to shed my belongings. Moving out of the family home two years ago was one long, endless trip to consignment houses, the Goodwill and the dump. In hindsight, I may have been a bit hasty, but I was up against the escrow clock.

I was unsure of how to handle the jewelry related to my marriage. I didn’t want to sell it, but I saw no possibility of wearing it again.

Enter my brilliant friend, and talented jewelry designer, Julez, owner of Julez Bryant.

I wanted to give my daughter something special for her eighteenth birthday, so under the careful guidance of Julez, I embarked on a process she calls a “Re:Work.” In essence, the undesirable jewelry is disassembled, stones removed and metal scrapped. Working with the raw materials of what is left, she designs a completely new and personal piece.

gold jewelry | Dianna Bonny Photography

The finished result of working with her was a unique and sentimental ring, created out of stones from my wedding and engagement rings, as well as a piece from my eighteenth birthday. I also dismantled quite a few items that were stashed in the bottom of my jewelry box, destined to collect dust and patina, and now they have all been subjected to the alchemic magic of a meltdown and reborn into a meaningful and repurposed form.

ring | Dianna Bonny Photography

Going through this creative endeavor felt very similar to the fiery and transformative process of trauma and healing.

If you are holding onto jewelry that contains painful energy from the past, you might consider this as a symbolic way to mark a new beginning, reminiscent of writing a impassioned letter, declaring your truths and beliefs about a situation, and then burning it.  I think of it as a way of letting go and creating space in your being for healing energy to seep in and work its magic.

The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.  Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?  And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?

– Kahlil Gibran

As always, I would love to hear about your process.


Who is Dianna Bonny:

Hi, my name is Dianna Bonny. It’s my mission to candidly share my journey with you. For me, it’s all about the healing: to create a radiant healing energy for others who have befallen a similar fate. Together, we can forge beautiful lives of belonging and connection. Thanks for joining me today! I look forward to hearing from you.

  4 comments for “Repurposing Jewelry That Contains Painful Energy from the Past

  1. January 16, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Lovely on all fronts Dianna…

  2. November 11, 2013 at 8:28 am

    Liked this post.

    The process for me is best described by this poem the Lord gave me years ago.

    You are God.

  3. November 12, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    This is such a clever use of repurposing! I love doing this with pieces of jewelry I pick up around the world, whether in estate sales or auctions. But to do it with pieces that bring up bad memories … and melting down the metal … is pure genius! Thanks, Dianna!

    • Dianna Bonny
      November 13, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      Thank you Sharon! What a great idea to collect pieces and repurpose. Lucky you traveling the globe and being creative. xo

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