Recycled Metal Ring

You Got Mojo Junk Yard Jewelry

This is a great recycling story. Pyper Hugos (photo below) makes jewelry from old cars and signs she finds in the local junk yard! I recently had the pleasure of trading notes with her.

Pyper Hugos
Pyper Hugos

Pyper makes each piece of jewelry by hand in her Bozeman, Montana studio, down to the hand cutting and formation of the metal. She even gives female names to each of her pieces.

Recycled Metal Ring
“Audrey” Ring of metal salvaged from a ’73 GMC pickup truck.

One thing that’s especially cool about her work is that she keeps the historical markings on the metal, intentionally leaving the original paint intact and unaltered. That makes for some suprising effects.

As you can see from these pieces, she loves bright, lively colors.

Necklace of recycled orange metal
“Willa” Necklace of orange metal salvaged from 60’s era Rambler with found washers.

Pyper explained that a big part of her enjoyment comes from scouring the junk yard and getting lost in the possibilities: “I truly enjoy getting down and dirty as I salvage and rummage through piles in the scrap yard, seeking out that perfect piece.”

Earrings of recycled metal
“Olivia” Earrings of metal from ’57 Ford F100 pickup truck. Sterling silver swirls are hand forged.

Pyper has been working with salvaged metal and found objects as her medium for over 11 years and began by making large abstract wall hangings from old rusty metal.

This statment sums up what her jewelry creations mean to her: “I believe that taking an object from our everyday lives, transforming its original form and function, can make a statement of great significance.”

Necklace of recycled metal
“Ora” Necklace of metal from a ’40’s GMC bat wing hood; red circle from a ’60’s FJ Landcruiser; black from a ’73 Ford pickup with found washer.

Pyper lives the life of a seemingly carefree artist. She says, “Right now, my husband (who is also an artist) and I are on the road for 2 months traveling, doing shows. When I get a chance between shows, I am able to make a bit of jewelry on the road. We have a lot of fun in between shows while on the road hiking and biking with our 2 dogs that travel with us…”

Old Cars Recycled Metal
Old Cars Recycled Metal by Pyper Hugos

Do you know the old saying that there’s someone for everyone? Well, maybe there’s an old car part for everyone, too! This is a great example of how each person’s creative spirit expresses itself. What’s yours?

You can see more of Pyper Hugos’ work at