Copper Jewelry Links Memories of Bangor Public Library

Joy Hollowell

Updated 9 months ago

A new jewelry line has customers lining up at a downtown Bangor business.

As Joy Hollowell tells us, it’s the material these designers are using that’s creating such demand.

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“It’s the smell of copper. There’s something about it that I’ve always been attracted to.”

It’s what drew Roxanne Munksgaard to the demolition of the old Bangor public library roof.

“I saw them ripping down the copper and carrying it down man-to-man,” says Munksgaard. “I just felt like I had to smell that, and touch it and see the gauge that it was.”

What the library saw as scrap metal, Munksgaard envisioned as bracelets, cuff links and earrings. She and the other owners of Maine Jewelry and Art Gallery came up with an idea.

They would create one of a kind pieces from the metal, with part of the proceeds going to the library’s renovation project. The jewelry debuted at a library auction last month.

“We got a lot of special orders from that auction, people who missed out on pieces that really wanted these pieces, they were arguing for it,” says Munksgaard with a laugh.

The three artists are now working to keep up with both in store and on line requests.

“There’s all different colors of the copper- dark, light, sage green, olive green,” explains Munksgaard. “Then, there’s the texture of it, and then there’s just knowing that that has been on the roof over 102 years.”

“And when the stories started coming out and the people who were appreciating the copper,” she adds. “There was a little 100, at least 100 year old woman, if not longer in age the other day. She stood here for about a half hour picking out a piece. And then I came to find out that she was a librarian.”

Orders have come in from other states, as well as other countries.

“As long as the copper holds out, we’ll be making jewelry,” says Munksgaard. “We don’t know how long that will be, but it should be for a little while longer.”
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Maine Jewelry and Art Gallery is located on Harlow Street in Bangor.

You can also find them online at www.mainejewelryart.com


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