- PHOTO BY STEVE E. MILLER
- (BULLET)-EAUTIFUL: For that lady in your life who likes to shoot, you have to check out Steve Bewley’s handmade jewelry made using real bullets.
There’s nothing more intimidating than a girl with a gun and a guitar. At least according to Steve Bewley, creative mastermind behind Bewley’s Rerun Productions in Arroyo Grande.
A family hobby and business for more than 20 years, Bewley’s Rerun Productions takes pieces of, well, anything to create functional art for homes and businesses. Born and raised in SLO County, Bewley specializes in lamps, garden art, and home accessories and has recently discovered a new avenue of expression: jewelry.
In a heavy metal bowl that resides in his personal junkyard workshop, Bewley holds hundreds of old sniper bullets destined to one day be earrings and necklaces. Wrapped and wound in guitar strings, each handmade piece is unique and featured in Luxe Boutique in Arroyo Grande.
“We feel it’s something, maybe for women who feel really, you know … It’s Texas and bikers and we figure there’s a market for it somewhere,” he said.
Bewley admits that although he has no clue exactly what kind of sniper bullets he found, the hundreds of bullets rescued from a recycling center are well known and appreciated by those who know their ammo.
“We are going to use all of these,” he said. “We are going to develop all of these into non-killing implements of jewelry for women who’ve gotta have a bullet hanging from their neck.”
Because the bullets are copper, Bewley had to shave the sides when making the earring jewelry in order to make them lighter, but also to create a stand-alone piece that disguises the identity of the original object.
“You can almost see right through it. The lead came out, so it’s a really cool teardrop shape. You would never know it was a bullet,” Bewley said.
Bewley’s passion for art and repurposing junk, like boat parts or old books, is centered around fabricating functionality out of what some may find unusable parts of a once-cohesive object or machine. His workshop is like Extreme Makeover: Hoarder Edition. Ratty old books are held together and sanded down into table lamps with homemade paper lampshades. A heap of empty wine bottles is hung upside-down, making beautiful chandeliers. He admits that in his career there has been one major lapse of artistic ability.
“The only thing I got that I absolutely could do nothing with, a guy left me a black toilet,” Bewley said. “It was here for weeks and he said ‘Hey, did you get that black toilet? I thought you could make something out of this.’ I said, ‘It’s a frickin’ black toilet.’”
Due to the economic collapse, the Bewley family business has been making almost anything that will bring the money in. Friend and partner, Jeff Strickland, works with getting youth who have had faced difficulties in traditional learning settings interested in “art-iculture.” Strickland has a great deal of respect for Bewley’s artistry.
“His modesty is overwhelming,” Stickland said. “Just to have survived is an accomplishment in and of itself.”
Wise Owl in Cambria will host Poets and Storytellers on Jan. 8 at 7 p.m. Two featured poets, John Garry and Linda Camplese, will speak and share their work with local fans. The public is invited to share original poems or stories following the featured guests. Poets will audition for spots on Wise Owl’s team for the Battle of Cambria Coffeehouse Poets competition taking place Feb. 12. For more information, call 927-8888 or visit wiseowlcambria.com.
Intern Tally Meyers compiled this week’s Strokes. Send your business and nonprofit news to firstname.lastname@example.org.