Guitar strings wear out and have to be replaced after about 100 hours of use. They are made up of mixed metals - central high carbon steel wire cores with other metals coiled around it (see the video at the end on how they are made).  This means guitar strings cannot be recycled in the normal way. They are destined for the landfill if not for jewelry designers who rescue and repurpose them.

I have come across designers who work with this stiff and difficult material before. But the work of Canadian artisan, Michelle Dall’Acqua, of HeartstringsOriginal stands way above the rest!

Her meticulous workmanship and talent for coming up with luxurious designs out of such humble materials is remarkable. She sometimes combines precious metals like sterling silver and even leather with the guitar strings with stunning results. She also works with piano and violin strings.

I asked Michelle how she got started and whether she plays any musical instruments.  

She explained :
I was given a gift of a guitar string bracelet. It was just a wire wrapped around an old string, but I liked the concept. I started looking at the textures and colours of different instrument strings and had the dream of creating fine jewelry through pairing the reclaimed string with precious metals and gems.

Guitar string is made up of mixed metals and is challenging to work with, so I developed proprietary processes to create the style of jewelry I make today. The eco-friendly sustainability element is also very important to me. Not only do I recycle instrument strings, I use eco-friendly materials in my packaging and solar power for my studio. 

I can only play four chords on the guitar, but I love music and most of my family members are musicians!
Michelle may not be able to play the guitar very well but she excels at creating beautiful designs out of unwanted used guitar strings. In a way, the music plays on through her jewelry!  See more of her work on her Instagram

Upcycled Guitar String Ring and Lapel pin

Michelle in her studio

This is how used guitar strings look when they arrive in Michelle's Studio

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Original Post by THE BEADING GEM