A short interview with the creator of these fine pieces of jewelry made from the shiniest parts of our kit. Meet Leslie Barrett, an LA native who had an idea.
1) Do you have a favorite cymbal to work with?
I do. I’m somewhat partial to the Paiste 2002 cymbals, but I think it’s mostly because the 2002 ride was the first cymbal I ever cut into. Also, the Sabian AA – Metal X crash has a beautiful finish. The pieces made from that cymbal are stunning. Over the years, I’ve worked with many different types of Sabians, Zildjians and Paistes. I’ve found each cymbal has it’s own unique aesthetic quality which translates into truly unique, one of a kind jewelry. Since no two cymbals are exactly alike, each piece of jewelry has it’s own unique feel and vibe.
2) What inspired you to work with cymbals
My boyfriend at the time was the drummer for the band Bandpax, an LA punk band. For fun, I was taking a Jewelry Fabrication course at the local community college. My boyfriend asked me to take in one of his cracked cymbals and use one of the machines to cut out the crack and salvage the cymbal. Having never used a band saw, my cut was not much of a round one and I’m not even sure if he was ever able to use that cymbal again. Although, from the cymbal, I ended up with some scrap metal and decided to make myself a pair of earrings. I realized, when worn, the earrings created a chime sound. I was very excited by this and decided to make more for my friends and family and then over time the designs just continued to grow.
3) How long has the company been around?
During the fall of 2006, I cut into my first cymbal. At that time, I never thought or imagined what I was doing would turn into a business. I simply was just cutting into my boyfriend’s cracked cymbal to make a pair of earrings for myself. More than anything, I saw it as a romantic gesture. Over time, my little hobby has slowly turned into a business and now I have over 30 different designs.
4) What tools do you use to create your jewelry?
My process has changed and matured over time. The first tool I ever used was a band saw. This deemed to be a bit unpractical and challenging. Now I go a couple different routes depending on the type of shape I want from the cymbal. For the straight edge pieces, I use a laser cutter and then metal shears to achieve smaller pieces. And for the round pieces, I use a punch press. In addition to the big machinery, I also have to get down and dirty with the cymbal pieces, by using files, a Dremel and lots of other little tools.
Find out more about her and her jewelry here: