Bullets, neckties, chain mail armor, old tin plates: these are some of the timeworn items that Dee Moniz finds at flea markets and vintage shops, then transforms into her unique Ferrera Jewelry line of necklaces and earrings. “I did costume design and construction for a kid’s theatre, so you will often see fiber in my work since I have a passion for both metal and cloth,” she says. After taking a class at the old Beadworks on Thayer, Moniz was hooked. She had a particular interest in learning to do chain mail, which wasn’t taught in the store. The next few months were spent following online tutorials and reading books on the subject. The result? Dramatic pieces that truly make a statement. “I have always felt that jewelry needs a little shock value,” she says, “and I hope that comes through in my work.”
Moniz began collecting used neckties five years ago, with the intent to sew herself a kimono top with coordinated silks. Eventually, she began using the ties to make necklaces that resemble big fabric beads. Currently Moniz has about 600 neckties in her collection, just waiting to be repurposed and sold. “I had a customer recently ask me to make her a necklace out of a tie her dad had worn – he had recently passed away. The necklace keeps him close to her.” Dee will do any custom work within her skill set, including bullet jewelry and heat annealed patina (aka torched metal), which have both been selling well. Moniz’s jewelry is for sale at the Butler Hospital gift shop, where she works, and also on her Etsy page.