Gaga for Lucite!

What is smooth and shiny, comes in all colors, shapes and sizes, from jewelry to windows? LUCITE of course! You might be wondering, "Gaga for Lucite, isn't that JUST PLASTIC?"…That darn vintage acrylic plastic, I just love it so much.  Aren’t us Women and Girls supposed to grow up to want diamonds and rubies? Well, maybe some of us are built for that speed, but this woman who still loves sparkly things, loves the juicy colors of that acrylic-y goodness a little bit more and finds it just as valuable.

Looks like candy!

The affair runs deep, ever since I was a small girl, I have had a love of rummage sales, and antique stores, mostly because people would sell all this great jewelry and home goods for soooo cheap. Did I take care of it as a kid, HECK NO. Do I wish I could get the glitter filled, baby pink, cat eye sunglasses back that I broke? I SURE DO…and I look for those elusive dandies on Ebay all the time, to no avail. (Side note,  A) to start, they were my Mothers who is known for great eye wear choices and B) they would be outrageously expensive as they were vintage, glasses and trendy celluloid, another awesome great plastic, but much more fragile and a different post, with those crazy green lenses), I digress.

 

Exhibit A: Not the pink sparkles, but still hipster Mom

A very basic understanding that we can all relate to easily is Lucite is a brandname (trademarked by DuPont in 1937) there are of course other brandnames, like Plexiglas and another that is maybe not as common, Perspex. Simply put, it is a form of acrylic plastic, which gained in popularity during WWII. Respectfully, it was bullet resistant, used in a range of ways from submarines to airplanes due to it being safer than glass, very economically friendly to produce, (the other eco friendly). REGARDLESS of branding and those fab facts, it is the same material and due to such durability it can be molded, drilled, embedded, carved, which makes it the all around fun and functional jewelry making/wearing material!

 

Marion Godart Paris Designer Vintage Collection

Sometimes I get the question, where do you find this stuff? What do YOU look for when YOU buy jewelry, especially vintage Lucite. Well, as I mentioned above, rummage/garage sale, resale, thrift stores, auctions, old jewelry from my Mom or Grandma, are all great places to start. Then I have a preference for a certain time frame, like 1960's and Mod style. The reason is the patterns, colors, size and shapes, for me are key and I find that time frame suits my tastes. When I do find something I love, I inspect it to make sure it is clean, as scratch free as possible and fits well. Things that are as unblemished and as intact as possible are the way to buy. IF you are lucky enough to find pieces that are signed, or original tags, be warned, those are of course going to cost more. Lucite is collectible, as is a lot of plastic jewelry, like Bakelite, Celluloid and even the fake Bakelite aka Fakelite, (real name for it I swear I did not combine words.)

 
There is a quote, from the great Iris Apfel, one of the most famous of costume jewelry collectors and collections out there  “Jewelry should be fun, it should reflect your personal style and personality. It should bring joy to you everytime you look at it!” I feel this way about little knickknack items around the home as well..and the very bottom line is, if you don’t use it, LOSE it (that rule certainly is inline with the joy aspect). If you don't like it, definitely don't wear it, and if you don't feel any warmth from it, BUH-BYE. It shouldn't be about a trend or because so and so celebrity wore it on the red carpet, it is about you! So get in touch with that personal side and do what you like.