I love milk glass. It reminds me of my grandma and the 1930s and 1940s. When my mom died suddenly five years ago, I inherited her set of jewelry boxes. In these boxes I found a hodgepodge of vintage jewelry. Most of it was my mom’s from the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. Some of it was my grandma’s from the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. I documented each piece of jewelry and called my collection: Eleventeen Jewelry. I wore the jewelry instead of just hiding it away in jewelry boxes. The vintage earrings and necklaces captured my students’ attention as I taught online. This was a great way to reuse and recylce vintage jewelry.
This vintage jewelry was not valuable but it was cool
I researched much of the jewelry online. None of it was valuable, but all of it was cool. This choker has that vintage 1930s casual feel–I picture my grandma wearing it to a Sunday picnic. I am sure it was her necklace. In fact, I think I did see an old black and white photo of my grandma wearing it. I will have to try to find it.
Online students engage with vintage jewelry
I recenlty wore this milk glass choker when I was teaching on Zoom. Several students commented on it, and I used it as a teachable moment. I told the students briefly about my grandma. How she was a farm girl who moved to the city as soon as she could and worked downtown where she met my grandpa. The two of them danced in competitions all through the 1930s and didn’t marry until they were in their early thirties which was unusual at the time.
Inheriting this treasure trove of jewelry had an unexpected bonus that only a pandemic could provide: it engaged my students. Now that I have figured out this trick, I try to wear a different vintage necklace or pair of earrings every day of the week. Even if they do not comment on it, I know my students see it since they only see me from the chest up!
See more of the vintage jewelry I found in my mom’s jewelry box by following Eleventeen Jewelry on Instagram here.