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Heather Mullins at Après Ski Jewelry transforms old skis into fun, colorful earrings, necklaces and coasters.
When we found out about Heather, we knew we had to transform an old pair of Wagner Skis into custom accessories. Check out this video footage of the transformation process and read our interview with Heather below.
Wagner Skis: How did you get started with ski jewelry?
Heather Mullins: My background is in art and sculptures. Through my first company, Relevant ReUse, I started making furniture out of many different materials. I was commissioned to make a table out of skis and had extra scraps when I was finished. The offcut was so beautiful, I thought I could make jewelry out of it. I knew I could push this idea more when I returned to Colorado and I’ve been pursuing Après Ski Jewelry ever since.
Wagner: Where do you typically get the skis you transform into accessories?
Heather: At the beginning, I got most of the skis from Powder7 ski shop in Golden. They are a refurbished gear shop that had a ton of old skis. I still get skis there, but also get them from individuals and companies like Wagner Custom Skis.
Wagner: What is your favorite piece?
Heather: The Powderhound earrings. This is what I originally started with and has been our best seller since.
Wagner: Can you tell us about your process?
Heather: Once I pick out a pair of skis (or ski), I use a horizontal bandsaw to cut the edges off the ski. It’s always a surprise to see what materials are on the inside. If I don’t like what I see, I may start over with a new ski. Once I cut the piece, I sand and oil it before adding the jewelry fasteners. The material composition of the ski will dictate the dimensions and type of jewelry I’ll use it for.
Wagner: How many pieces do you get out of one pair of skis, typically speaking?
Heather: On average I can get 100 pieces out of a pair of skis. Sometimes it is more and sometimes it is less based on what the ski is made of.
Wagner: What are your favorite things about making ski jewelry?
Heather: The inside of the ski is always a surprise and what makes the jewelry unique. It’s fun to cut into a pair of skis to find out what I’ll be working with. Old school skis have especially good neon colors which I love. It also feels good to recycle and reuse skis that would otherwise be thrown away. And last, I’m constantly amazed that my little dream is working. I’ve created an almost full-time job. I’m excited that others appreciate it as well.