Rad Recycled Skateboard Jewelry by Eco Designer Maple XO

Posted on Wednesday, February 10th, 2010 in Interviews, Maple XO
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I got a chance to catch up with Etsy’s eco jewelry designer Lindsay Jo Holmes with Maple XO who has incorporated recycling skateboards into all her designs by taking a board that has grinded a park bench, or board slid a handrail and transforming it into rad jewelry.  I wanted to know a little bit more about Maple XO, so I started asking some questions…

Maple XO

Who is Maple XO and where are you located?

Maple XO is me, Lindsay Jo Holmes from Portland Oregon, and many other people who make it happen. ex: The Skateboarders for their boards and inspiration; My friends, family, and boyfriend for all their support; my wood shop mentors for all they’ve taught me about woodworking and taking pride in the things I create.

What sparked the interest to turn skateboards into jewelry?  Was this choice driven by environmental concerns?

I guess I could consider it driven by environmental concerns. I just hated throwing out my old boards. I wanted to recycle them somehow. After many failed attempts to turn them into abstract wall art, I started cutting them up and paying attention to the colors inside the skateboard. My first piece of skateboard jewelry, were these silly looking earrings that I made from the scraps of cutting up a skateboard to turn it into a clock. I wasn’t at all thinking that jewelry would be my main thing with recycling skateboards. Once a few people noticed my earrings and asked me to make them some, it started the wheels turning in my head. And after I started realizing just how many boards were ending up in the landfill, I knew I needed to really run with this idea.

Where do you find inspiration for your design and your style of jewelry?

A lot of times, I get inspired by the color combos or designs on the skateboard. Like the g-metric necklace for an example, the random angles of the grind marks on the bottom of the boards totally inspired the random shapes of those necklaces. Besides that, I get inspired by people I meet every day. I love designing jewelry that feels empowering to wear, but not over bearing. I try to create jewelry that, when I wear it, it makes me feel the way I feel when I paint my nails bright red. Can I say red nail polish inspires me? haha.

Where do your boards come from to make jewelry?

I get my boards from all over. Some are mine, or my friends’, but most of them come from rad skate shops all over the US that save their old boards for me and I bake them cookies in exchange. Skateboard companies also send me mismanufactured skateboards that make great jewelry as well.

What are some of your favorite boards that make the best jewelry?

Favorite boards…. hmmm…. Deluxe boards make rad jewelry (Anti-Hero, Real, Krooked) and they’re also a super rad company that I’m proud to say we’re supported by. But, Girl, Chocolate, Toy Machine, Almost, Consolidated, and Black Label… they all make rad skateboard jewelry.

What recycled pieces of the skateboards are used to make your jewelry?

Every inch! I mean, sometimes there’s pressure cracks or weird glue voids that would make it not ideal for jewelry making but… I can turn an entire board into jewelry with nothing but saw dust and wood chips left over as long as the defects in the board didn’t cause too much over all damage.

Local or pro boarders that wear Maple XO?

That wear it? Amelia Brodka… she kills it. And Kerri Reichard from Portland. Most of the support I have from Pro skateboarders is that they donate their boards to me! I have a stack of about 20 boards from different Professional Skateboarders that I plan to turn into jewelry. They’re the actual boards they skated and gave to me.

My plan is to auction off the jewelry pieces from those boards to raise money for Skateistan. (it’s a non-profit that is teaching kids how to skate in Afghanistan… They’re amazing!)

Well there is…a little tid bit on my friend Lindsay Jo Holmes and Maple XO.  Thanks Lindsay for a little inside scoop on Maple XO!  MVA has put a shout out to local schools for individuals that are willing to donate old or broken boards so we too can ship to Maple and have some wicked jewelry made right from our very own local supporters!  Let’s keep those boards out of the landfills!

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