The bicycle is, no doubt, one of the most sustainable forms of transportation on the planet. And although it gets us where we need to go, and puts a smile on our face with almost little impact — the bicycle does produce some amount of waste. Think of all the chains, cassettes, and cables one goes through over the years. It’s not a lot, sure, but it’s also not nothing. Entropy and all that.
In 2011, Nicole Bloch was rummaging around when she found her grandmother’s old costume jewelry. She began messing around with it, altering it, playing with shapes and function. Her best friend saw this and issued her a dare: Try and make some jewelry from used bicycle parts. Bloch accepted, and started Erra Creations.
She started simple, making bracelets, cufflinks and pendants from bicycle chains. But over the years, she started incorporating more componentry into her designs — necklaces made from cassettes, earrings from 11-tooth cogs, even pendants made from dozens of chain pins. If you can find it on a bike, there’s likely some way that Bloch can turn it into something worth wearing.
But Erra Creations is not just jewelry. Bloch also produces small-batch natural body products like soaps, balms and salves — all of them handmade by Bloch herself right in her hometown of Pittsburgh.
Like the changing seasons, Bloch’s offerings change with what’s available to her, so be sure to swing by her booth at this year’s expo to see what she’s working on now.