Photo: William Perugini/Shutterstock

Steal This Idea: Give Away Your Creations

by Julie Schwietert Sep 4, 2009
The idea behind this series is to show off cool projects from around the world that can be adapted and implemented wherever you live.
Project Name:

The Pro Bono Jeweler

The Big Idea:

Jeweler Gabriel Craig takes his studio out to the streets, where he makes jewelery as performance art… and then gives the pieces away.


Craig started a similar project, “The Collegiate Jeweler,” as a college student back in 2007. In an interview with American Craft Magazine, Craig explained the purpose and spirit of the project:

“My objective was simply to share handmade jewelry with those who may not ordinarily encounter it. I wanted the format of the performances to reflect my educational and altruistic goals and so I gave away silver rings that I made on the spot—over 30 in the first few weeks. By giving away jewelry I was able to focus on its cultural value rather than its commercial value. The criterion for receiving a ring was participation. Those who seemed interested got to take home some of the excitement…. In the studio I am just a jeweler, but on the street I am a magician.”

Craig continued by explaining how jewelry might just be a meaningful vehicle for communication and community building:

“Approaching jewelry as a theme, I found that the opportunity for communication and change grew exponentially. Despite how pervasive jewelry is in our culture, as a maker I spend a lot of time in the studio by myself, complacent in the isolation and insular world built around studio jewelry. With The Collegiate Jeweler performances, I had finally found a direct way to share what I do with people. That was how it started—wanting to share and be inclusive.”


What do you make that you could give away? Whether it’s a poem, a small ceramic pot, a photo, postcard, flower from your garden, or a homemade candle, you can adapt Gabriel Craig’s pro bono art project wherever you live. Remember: the key is not just to give something away, but to create a moment where you and your public can connect, even if for a few brief moments.

For More Information:

Visit Gabriel Craig’s website.

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