In 1909 Leo Baekeland created the first entirely synthetic plastic and he called it Bakelite. It was heat resistant and did not conduct electricity. Its properties made it suited for a much wider variety of purposes. Bakelite was lightweight and durable and could be molded into many different shapes. As he developed colors he started producing jewelry, which became very popular in the 1940’s. Bakelite is no longer manufactured, so it has become quite collectible.
I love the depth of color created in Bakelite, it’s like no other plastic, so I repurpose the old original pieces into contemporary wearable art.
If you’d like to explore Bakelite further, many books have been written and published.