Bullet Aeternum Pendant Necklace: $245.00
I’m generally turned off by stuff like this (I blame Bono). So often we’re told political art is there to “raise awareness,” as if the issue can be solved with a some savvy public relations hustle and a t-shirt or two. Or, we’re told that the answer to problems of capitalism lie in some sort of ethical consumerism—if we all just do our research and vote with our dollar, we can save the world by shopping! (Check out the video at the end to hear Marxist philosopher Slavoj Žižek lay out exactly why that’s bullshit.)
But I kind of like this jewelry made from recycled guns, and it doesn’t get on my nerves for couple of reasons. One, the mission statement is pretty clear and the artistic concept isn’t overly ambitious or sanctimonious:
Liberty United recycles guns to make jewelry and art made in the U.S.A.
Guns and bullets are collected by partner communities. These are cataloged and checked by law enforcement and then released for recycling. Liberty United remakes the remnants of these guns and bullets, using ancient and contemporary techniques, into jewelry and art.
As we work to reduce gun violence, we provide jobs in America. Our pieces are handcrafted in the U.S.A., incorporating serial numbers and metal from guns and bullet shells that have been reclaimed and destroyed through the communities with whom we’re collaborating.
Second, 20 to 25% of the profits (not a bad cut) go to established anti-gun violence organizations—not just some paper moon charity the artists invented to appear “aware.” And third, it appears their labor practices are actually on the up and up.
But Liberty United doesn’t claim to be saving the world.They’re using recycled materials, they appear to be providing good jobs for skilled laborers, and they’re making something a hell of a lot more attractive than a pair of TOMS shoes.
The stuff is pretty pricey—even when a choice of metals is offered, the less precious of the two is no drop in the bucket. And we won’t save America from gun violence with swank accessories. But this is a cool concept, and I’ll be damned if I don’t need that claw bracelet at the very bottom.
Skinny Bullet Cuff: $95.00
Gunmetal Aeternum Cuff: $395.00
Bullet Ring: $85.00
Bullet Necklace: $95.00
Silver & Gunmetal Inlay Cage Cuff with Turquoise: $1,295.00
Silver & Gunmetal Talon Cuff: $1,545.00 USD
Via Liberty United