My latest projects involve going and buying up what could most politely be called "vintage costume jewelry," cleaning it, stripping plating off of it in some cases, soldering earring posts, or pendant bails onto them, and adding chains and beads and so on, sometimes re-plating, to make newish jewelry. But is it art? They are not high-end pieces. The cost of materials is low. I think maybe it won't be long before these pieces appear in the same sorts of places where I bought them to begin with. So I don't know.
My profile picture is one of my "up-cycled" pieces. I have always loved old bits of jewelry and pins, and so on, even if they aren't made of precious metals or gems. I don't like the flashy pieces with lots of rhinestones. I like the bits and components of old jewelry that have stood the test of time and wear, and just need a bit of love and creativity to be wearable again.
So, is it really art?