Courtesy of Don Kelley
By Alex Stewart
At a dinner party, Don Kelley’s mind started drifting, eventually landing on a fork. A strange thought came to him: “This would be better as a bracelet than a fork.”
Don now creates dainty, timeless jewelry that is both simple and striking by using vintage dinner forks and natural stones. He almost never has a predetermined design or preformed idea, as he “cold forms” each piece of metal into a work of wearable art.
“It’s almost as if the design was already there,” he says, “and all I did was discover it.”
Each necklace, ring, or pendant Don makes is unique, with its own history. For some pieces, he uses vintage forks from estate sales. For others, customers bring in their family flatware and stones for Don to create into one or several heirloom pieces. Even his tools have history. The pliers he uses are a pair from the 1930s that his mother once used to make her own sterling silver rings.
His Mother’s Rings collection is made using seafood forks and the customer’s mother’s birthstone. Another line, the Fork in the Road collection, was inspired by a client who commissioned a piece for her mother living with breast cancer. The fork he used to make the pendant was a symbol of his friend’s mother’s moment at a crossroad. Don is also beginning to work with leather and silver to make jewelry for men, especially veterans, to serve as a symbol of hope.
To see Don’s work, visit aforkintheroad.com.