That's the product of 123 years of Tacoma air," Sanford and Son Antiques & Auction, Jennifer Aarde tells me. Sanford and Son has been providing a unique shopping experience as the largest singly owned antique shop in the Pacific Northwest located in downtown Tacoma since 1985. The space is like a maze of curiosities and gems with three floors in total that includes independently operated shops throughout and an even a library with an arcane charm that can double as an event space.
Though I could recommend you visit Sanford and Son for a slew of finds, what brought me in most recently was Aarde's newest venture, Tacoma's Architectural Salvage Jewelry. These enticing beauties currently include a collection of earrings and pendants concocted from pure copper tiles salvaged from Tacoma's Old City Hall. It all started when Alan Gorsuch, co-owner of Sanford and Son witnessed some action at the often deserted historical building. A crew was replacing the aged roof and had every intention of tossing out the worn copper tiles as trash. Instead, Gorsuch purchased them, all 4,000 of them. Aarde tells me it all started when patrons would ask what to do with these lightweight tiles, "I told people, make jewelry with them probably sixteen times before I decided, why don't I do just that?"
The pieces ranging in price from $35-$80 display the lovely effects that air and moisture have on copper. Swirled patterns of greens, lined landscapes and abstract designs of varying sizes and shapes make each piece unique with some even embellished with fresh water pearl beads. The history and controversy of the old clock tower means each piece carries a story and a rich history. Aarde informs me larger masculine pieces for the gentlemen are following soon and though the pieces are only available at Sanford and Son for now, she has applied to have the pieces available at the History Museum gift shop, a wonderful platform for history hounds to walk away with a little piece of Tacoma.
Make a statement and tell a story with your accessories or take home some of the tiles and create your own masterpieces. Find out more by visiting Sanford and Son.
Sanford and Son Antiques & Auction, noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Sunday, 743 Broadway, Tacoma, 253.272.0334