Down in the Delta Jewelry (Bay Minette)
The Maker: Judy Pimperl
A copper pipe and Judy Pimperl’s imagination are all it takes to create an original piece of jewelry. Well, that and some hammering, soldering and attention to the tiniest of details.
Pimperl supposes she’s been making jewelry for 50 years. Today, she does it professionally with Down in the Delta Jewelry. After running an antiques shop, Pimperl discovered she could take some of the old pieces of metal and other materials and turn them into something new.
“The jewelry that I’m making now was born out of the fact that I was an antiques dealer and I had all of these little bits and pieces of just interesting little, old things,” she said.
A trained silversmith, Pimperl began putting those things together to create jewelry.
“I will keep a piece for two or three years and just wait until it speaks to me and tells me what it wants to become,” she said.
Pimperl has added other materials and produces all types of jewelry, although she shies away from making rings because they are so size-specific. She draws inspiration from mermaids, the ocean and nature. She doesn’t sketch her ideas in advance, choosing to go by feel as she creates.
What she doesn’t try to do is guess what somebody else might want.
“If you try to create for other people, create to what they’re asking for, you don’t have the interest in it as if you’re just creating from your heart,” Pimperl said.
A big part of Pimperl’s work is repurposing old materials.
“I also love the aspect of recycling,” she said. “Recycling not just vintage bits and pieces, but old metal that’s been used for something else before.”
She will use copper wire, old plumbing pipe and even old tin spoons or other metal.
“I just like taking something old or something that was intended for something else and making it new again,” she said.
Down in the Delta Jewelry
The product: Original pieces of handmade jewelry.
Take home: A “treasures of the sea” necklace with mermaids and a real sand dollar ($55).