Ken Hamar, written by Brenda Byboth…
The crowd around Ken Hamar's booth at the Pinners Conference is at least 10 people deep, making it hard to see what's in the booth. Such sights are becoming more and more common as more and more people get a look at Hamar's beautiful upcycled, repurposed jewelry and unique silver items.
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, online, and at Consignment Embassy, located at 3613 Shire Blvd. #120 in Richardson. View his work on Instagram at www.instagram.com/silvertines.