Let's meet Ken Hamar, a beautiful upcycled, repurposed jewelry and unique silver crafter.
A stroke at age 54 ended Hamar's career in the high-pressure mortgage industry. As he began physical therapy, however, he discovered that, although a portion of his brain no longer functioned as it once had, there was a new part yet to be explored. A sister-in-law who is an avid beader suggested beading as a form of physical therapy. Hamar gave it a try, using his hands, re-training his brain, developing small motor skills and coordination using wire, beads, and other materials. Hamar now considers himself "pruned by God" and that the transient ischemic attack, or stroke, was actually a blessing in disguise.
Several months into his therapy, Hamar gravitated to silver and natural stones, especially turquoise. He took a silversmithing class taught by a well-respected instuctor, and then he taught himself other aspects of the craft. While he aspired to work in silver, it is an expensive medium for a new hobbyist. At an estate sale, he found inspiration in silverplate silverware and began to practice and hone his skills on the less-expensive material.
It has been five years, and Hamar is almost fully recoved. He thoroughly believes that he, like his jewelry and silver creations, is repurposed. The creation process brings joy to him and to those who receive his pieces. He enjoys this new chapter of his life and believes he is better than before.
The concept of repurposing is the basis for this line, Silver Tines. Hamar cleans, cuts, grinds, drills, bends, files, polishes, tumbles and brings back the sparkle to these once-loved items, sending them on their way to be loved for another 50 years. He likes to think about those whose hearts and lives the vintage silverware touches in the last 10 to 100 years. Some of his inventory has included items from the 1800's.
Now, these items will continue their "conversations" with new owners and families. Out of knife handles, Hamar crafts groomsmen's boutonnieres that actually hold water. Speaking of weddings, Hamar has found that, although millennials may not register for silver sets as brides and grooms in previous generations did, they do love the look and feel of repurposed items made from family silver. Recently, he crafted 13 pins and rings fro a wedding party from a grandmother's set. Seeing the happiness in others is priceless to Hamar; this new mission brings him great joy, as he creates affordable treasures that can be passed down to future generations.
Hamar now has 14 items in his inventory. In addition to rings, bracelets and necklaces, he has repurposed antique knives from an old Santa Fe railroad car, creating truly unique bottle openers.
Hamar said he believes that, like his creations, he has been given a second chance. He doesn't consider himself a craftsman, since the design is already there -- he just waits and lets the pieces develop. His pieces are available as a custom order and online. You can also find Hamar's work at local retail locations. Please view the contact page for more information on current retail locations.
A beautiful moment at Oktoberfest in Southlake Texas
My wife Linda and I were working in our tent at an arts and craft show when a very nice lady and a young girl around 8 yrs. old entered and started browsing. When the lady saw we made elephants out of vintage forks her eyes lit up and she began to explain an experience where she had just recently went to a family funeral and the deceased requested elephants be given out to all that came to her funeral because the elephants stay in the herd for life and morn when one dies. The lady purchased two elephants and explained the young girl just entered the family. When she gave the elephant necklace to her the young girl ask “does this mean I am in your herd”? The lady in tears joyfully explained you are in my family and in my herd from now and forever and don’t ever forget it!
Another blessed moment in the booth…
We were enjoying selling flatware jewelry at an inside booth at Canton Texas east of Dallas 60 miles when a teenage girl and her mother walked into the booth and started looking at every piece. We noticed the mother seemed to be more excited and the girl seemed to be somewhat sad. Linda my wife started helping the lady by asking, are you looking for anything specific? The mother responded we are always looking for something with HOPE on it. Linda responded, yes my husband usually stamps HOPE on a few items. After a quick glance sure enough they found rings stamped HOPE. As Linda was checking the sale out, the mother explained she had twins and one had died at an early age so every time the mother and daughter go shopping they always shop for HOPE also… Needless to say we always will have something stamped with HOPE in our stock!