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  • Donna Kostrzewski

a Project

2020 allowed my mind to wander

i have collected little charm shields since i was 10 years old and traveled Europe for a month with my mom and dad and sister. it was my mom's idea; "you may pick out a little shield charm an when we get home we will buy a bracelet and dad will solder them on". Every time I visited Europe I would buy more charms and i loved wearing my bracelet with the dancing,

colorful works of art on each one.

By the early 2000's it was becoming increasingly difficult to find these charms in Europe. I always wore my bracelet as I entered shops, pointing to it, asking if they sold such an item. Not speaking the language, we still communicated and many of the shops would shake their heads with an "ahhh...I remember those...but noooo...we do not sell"...

So autumn 2020 arrived and not much was changing, we were still relatively locked down and isolated; this provided me an opportunity to research. Why aren't these charms made any longer? Who made these charms and might there be an opportunity to recommission them?

Fast forward, i have commissioned an artist and we are nearly done with our design. I have found and communicated with a manufacturing company in Germany that is willing to look at my artwork and provide a price to manufacture. This family owned company made these charms since the 1930's. Where will this lead? I don't know. Will it be sustainable? I don't know. However, i have the artwork nearly done for a little, new shield charm illustrating AMERICA and am excited to see where this will take me. Stay tuned....

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