(Pyper on the hunt in the junkyard)
Since 2007 we (Jarrod and Pyper, the team behind Joyride Jewelry) have been scouring the forgotten junkyards that dot our country’s landscapes and back roads to find materials to create our jewelry. We love junkyard day. We love the thrill of meandering thru the rows of old cars sitting forlornly just waiting to be discovered again. It’s exciting to get lost in the nostalgia and the possibilities that await us. When we are in the junkyard, we are on the hunt for old cars that have great color and unique patinas to make our jewelry with. For us it's not about finding a great car, we're not specifically looking for a Mustang or a 57 Chevy to cut up, we're looking for those quintessential vintage car colors that once filled the roads of America.
Whether we take a hood, fender or door from the junkyard, once we're back in the studio we get to work cutting, cleaning, sanding, filing and forming. We never add any paint to the parts we use as it is important to us to keep the integrity of the original car paint intact. There is no reason to paint the metal we use, the colors of these old cars are so beautiful and amazing! We love that each scratch and layer of paint has a story to tell. There is so much history embedded into each piece and we want that to shine.
(Pyper & Jarrod in the junkyard collecting materials)
Working with these vintage cars can be finicky, we never know if the piece we took will work out until we get the part back to our studio and start cutting. Often the paint will chip right off or there will be so much rust that most of the piece is unusable. Many of the parts we use are painted on both sides (see the photo below of the yellow 71 International pickup) and we prefer to use these pieces as the paint will help to inhibit rust.
People are often confused when they see our jewelry because they think car metal is thicker than what they see in our finished product. Car parts, such as a hood or door for example are actually 2 layers of metal put together, like a skeleton. Before we get to work we have to first cut those 2 layers apart from one another. Now we are left with the top layer of a hood or door and we can get to work designing and creating our jewelry.
(Jarrod cutting up one of our junkyard finds - a 71 International pickup)
When in the junkyard we always make sure we keep track of the parts and pieces we salvage. It is important to us to record the history of these old cars so that they may live on. We have worked with many different car parts since we started making jewelry from vintage cars in 2007. One of the things we love most about what we do is that we are able to give these old cars new life. It's an honor to be able to evoke memories, create new stories and connect with others through the use of this material.
At the time of this article these are the cars we're working with and their prospective colors. See our most current list here.
Red - 62 Ford Falcon
69 Mercury Monterey
69 Ford Maverick
Orange - 62 Rambler
57 Dodge pickup
Yellow - 42 GMC pickup
71 International Pickup
Turquoise/ Blue - 65 Ford Econoline Supervan
64 Ford Fairlane
59 International pickup
56 Buick Special
Turquoise/ Green - 75 Dodge Forest Service truck
67 Chevy pickup
Chartreuse/Meadow Green - 72 Plymouth Roadrunner
Lime/Kelly Green - 78 Ford Bronco
Olive green - 65 Ford Mustang
Baby Blue - 72 Chevy pickup
Dark blue - 68 Plymouth Fury convertible
63 Pontiac Tempest
62 Mercury Meteor
Primary/royal blue - 71 Mazda pickup
75 Ford pickup
Dark purple - 73 GMC pickup
63 Mercury Comet
Pink - 57 Chrysler New Yorker
White - 64 Ford Fairlane
Off white - 63 Mercury Comet
Brown - 69 Oldsmobile
Black - 73 Ford LTD
Silver - 64 Chevy Nova