Patricia & Don Atkinson: Jewelry with a Past

By Leslie Moore

Patricia and Don Atkinson love old things – and they also love attending estate sales and browsing in antique stores. Don, a retired computer programmer, and Patricia, a retired tour guide who has travelled all over the world, have always enjoyed creating something from nothing. “I think we see beauty where other people may not,” said Patricia. When they are not displaying their work at festivals and shows, this unique jewelry is found at Under the Sun South Market in Myrtle Beach.

“We’ve been making jewelry for about ten years,” Patricia began. “We first took old, broken jewelry and reworked it. But while we were searching for items to recreate, we saw a lot of gorgeous flatware and thought we could make something beautiful with these pieces.” This creative artist went on to tell me how she and Don became fascinated by the history of flatware. “We had one piece with a patent reaching back to 1835!”

Tarnished, discarded flatware isn’t beautiful when it first comes into Patricia’s hands. “It takes a lot of cleaning and polishing to get a piece ready to make jewelry.” The finished pieces are not only beautiful, but are very durable – this jewelry makes a statement and is a part of history.

“People will bring in silverware or flatware that belonged to their mother or grandmother,” Patricia told me as we chatted about her work. “The jewelry is a special way for them to remember their family member.” One of her most special requests was from a mother who had lost her baby years ago. “She brought me a baby spoon and we reworked it into a beautiful ring.”

Patricia and Don evaluate each piece of flatware to determine what type of jewelry will work best. “All pieces don’t make good rings, but we will make something beautiful – earrings, a necklace or a pendant.” Patricia also enjoys researching the patterns so her customers will know what they are wearing.

While this creative couple can be found at ten to twelve shows a year, The Dickens Christmas Show is one of their favorites. “There are so many talented artisans – this show is so much more than just a craft show. And we love dressing up! Everyone wears costumes that reflect the Dickens era.” They will return to this popular event this year for the fourth time in November.

Patricia and Don will join hundreds of costumed artisans at the 37th Annual Dickens Christmas Show & Festivals held November 8th-11th at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center. Along with talented artisans, the show features Victorian Holiday Teas, Sherlock Holmes Murder Mystery Dinners, Historical Tours and the opening of Holiday Shows at award winning local theaters. For more information about the show and tickets for all events, visit www.dickenschristmasshow.com.

About this writer

  • Leslie Moore

    Leslie Moore

    Leslie Moore is the editor for Strand Media Group. A 25 year resident of Pawleys Island, she is blessed with a life filled with the love of family and friends and satisfying work to do every day.

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