Friday, June 12, 2009

Bakelite!!!!! Bakelite!!!!! Bakelite!!!!!

OVER A MONTH since I've been here! Sorry gang! It's been one of those!

I'm going to make it a fast stop today. I'm going to make a concerted effort to get over here and talk about Bakelite a lot.

I see every plastic known to mankind being called Bakelite on the net. For some reason people seem to think that the keyword spamming of that term in their listing is going to attract the type of attention that is going to cause someone who really only collects Bakelite to buy their obviously inaccurately described item. It's a huge bur under the saddle blanket to all of us who are very passionate and deeply in love with this incredible material.

Quite a number of years ago I was more active in a lot of discussion groups online. One of my favorite things besides jewelry is buttons. This passion dates back to my childhood when things were much simpler. If a child was bored with their toys, a parent often gave them some household item to entertain and occupy them. My mother utilized any number of things such as her button box (a big colorful bread tin), her old costume jewelry, or her old clothes in which I could play dress-up.

But I digressed, as usual.

One day on the button list, someone came in and showed some photos of some wonderful hand-carved buttons. Seems like the first things I saw were something like this:
Or this:

Or this:

Now, those are NOT Bakelite but the workmanship is intriguing, eh? The attention to detail.
The interesting subject matter.

Next thing I know, I've got a link to this seller's button listings on eBay. Somewhere in there - I am a little fuzzy on when this began - this fine gentleman started using Bakelite and a new love affair began.

All of you who know me know I'm a total Bakelite freak and that it really makes little difference to me what form it takes.

Buttons: Great!

Pins: Great!

Bracelets: REALLY GREAT!!!!!!!!!!

Who am I talking about, you ask? In case you did not figure it out from the website watermark on the photos above, it's Brad Elfrink!

I could spend the rest of today picking out my personal favorites in Brad's incredible work but I'm going to just give you this link (again) to his website where he has massive quantities of great photographs of his fantastic work. And this is the link to his eBay listings. You will not be disappointed.

Brad is a fine gentleman. I know he's going to be embarrassed a bit by my gushing adoration for him and his work but he SO totally and absolutely deserves all of the kudos and nods he gets. He's The Best!

Please do yourself a favor: set aside an hour or so to look at all of the incredible photos of his work on his website and on his eBay listings. Bid on eBay, buy from his website or commission a special, one of a kind piece. You won't be disappointed but if for some reason you are not happy, he's going to make it right. Trust me.

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