SEATTLE — It's probably safe to say no one thought wearing a piece of infrastructure would be fashionable, but a Pike Place Market jeweler has given us all a summer wardrobe surprise.
The idea came from Pike Place Market folks, who asked the company tearing down the Alaskan Way Viaduct for some of the rubble.
Great minds think alike if you're talking to Kristeena Sabando of Sabando Design. She and her husband Ron left their day jobs to become full-time jewelers in the market.
"My husband and I were talking about it, and I just said, 'Wouldn’t it be really nice if we were able to get some of the material from the viaduct and cut it and polish it and see how it would look?' joked Sabando.
So when the market contacted them asking if they would want some of the material, Sabando was more than excited. "I was like, 'Yes please!'"
The couple got a bucket full of viaduct rubble one afternoon and by that night, had created four unique pieces. The Sabandos were the first in the market to make something out of their bucket of viaduct materials. They created rings from re-bar and necklace pendants from concrete and river rock.
"A lot of our pieces start out really quite unattractive," said Sabando. "So, you're taking unattractive stones and then pulling that beauty out when you cut and polish them. And when we saw the concrete we thought, 'Oh maybe? There might be something beautiful underneath? Maybe not.' It's always a gamble. I was completely blown away."
On the flip side, they discovered the viaduct wasn't exactly in the best shape. Sabando said she noticed a lot of air pockets in the concrete among other things.
"As I was cutting through it, the concrete actually started to dissolve under the water and the oil," said Sabando. "And we were driving on that! So I am really glad it's gone."
Sabando's jewelry is available in the market right near the Joe Desimone Bridge. The market also announced other vendors will be releasing more mementos and art from the Viaduct.