Brooklyn Designer Transforms Beer Bottle Caps into Wearable Art
FORT GREENE — One man's trash is another man's trinket.
Brooklyn resident ArinMaya, 31, collects discarded bottle caps and transforms them into dangly earrings and colorful bracelets.
"Beer caps are so unique, every one is different," she said. "I like picking up stuff off the street and repurposing their design or repurposing an item that was disposed of."
Her collection of bottle cap jewelry, knitwear products, textile-wrapped bracelets and more have been featured on MTV's television show MADE as well as in the pages of O magazine.
"The thing is, I don't even drink that much beer," said ArinMaya, who hammers out her jewelry into dangling earrings, or wraps them in wire for bracelets. "It's not about Brooklyn Brewery or Magic Hat or Budweiser, or any of these brands as much as it's about recycling these items that are colorful and beautiful."
Among the businesses that have helped her with the effort are the Cuban restaurant Habana Outpost on Fulton Street, which donates colorful Boylan Soda caps.
Pequeña on South Portland Avenue collects beer bottle caps and gives them to ArinMaya in bulk, she said.
Her friends are also on the lookout for colorful tops left in the gutters of Brooklyn.
The designer teaches others to create their own "eco-friendly, recycled and upcycled" accessories in a class at the Brooklyn Museum called "Wearable Art," and has made the jewelry studio at Bushwick's 3rd Ward her second home.
Locals can find her latest designs at festivals and markets such as AfroPunk Fest, Gowanus Nite Market and Nicholas Brooklyn's Brooklyn Nights poetry events. She hopes to one day sell her collections at the Brooklyn Flea or Atlantic Antic.
ArinMaya also has an Etsy shop called ArinMayaMade.