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Edmonton designer who makes guitar string jewelry joining benefit concert in L.A.

WATCH: An Edmonton woman who makes jewelry out of retired instruments strings is on her way to Los Angeles. Emily Mertz explains why.

An Edmonton artist who creates jewelry from retired musical instrument strings is celebrating two new collaborations.

Michelle Dall’Acqua is the lead designer of Heartstrings Jewelry. For several years, she’s partnered with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, repurposing used strings into necklaces, bracelets and earrings — the sale of which helps support the ESO’s Youth Orchestra of Northern Alberta (YONA) – Sistema.

READ MORE: Music lives on in jewelry crafted from retired Edmonton Symphony Orchestra strings

Now, Dall’Acqua is heading to Los Angeles for a benefit concert Nov. 2 put on by the D’Addario Foundation and featuring Mandy Moore.

She’s even designed a special piece of jewelry for the occasion: the Elevate Necklace. One-hundred per cent of the proceeds from it will go towards funding youth music programs.

“The D’Addario Foundation supports programs that are the most effective music education programs in the areas of highest need,” Dall’Acqua said.

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“So they’re focused on social change through music education and really helping these kids who need it the most, and usually — almost always, I think — kids who would never have access to music instruction otherwise.”

READ MORE: Edmonton Symphony Orchestra names new conductor – and he’s only 24 

Dall’Acqua explained how they named the necklace.

“It’s called the Elevate Necklace and what the D’Addario Foundation is doing is elevating quality of life through access to music education,” she said.

The Elevate Necklace from Heartstrings Jewelry.
The Elevate Necklace from Heartstrings Jewelry. Global News

This particular necklace is made from used D’Addario guitar strings.

“We’ve got three different colours,” Dall’Acqua said.

“They’re sterling silver with either a gold plating, a black rhodium plating or a rhodium plating that looks silver. It has a piece of either electric or acoustic string on the pendant. And it’s engraved with the foundation’s symbol of community support, which is a heart.”

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Edmonton designer uses retired instrument strings to make jewelry
Edmonton designer uses retired instrument strings to make jewelry

Dall’Acqua has also collaborated with Canadian band Walk Off The Earth.

“I created a necklace with their world tour strings,” she said.

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“They were on tour this whole year, all over the world, and they sent me strings from their tour. I’m making limited edition commemorative necklaces… That’s the actual strings they’ve played on stages.

READ MORE: Walk Off the Earth dedicate new song ‘Mike’s Song’ to late bandmate ‘Beard Guy’

“It’s just a way we can have that connection between the band and the fans, and the fans get to have a little piece of the journey Walk Off The Earth is on.”

Heartstrings Jewelry designed a custom necklace for Canadian band Walk Off The Earth.
Heartstrings Jewelry designed a custom necklace for Canadian band Walk Off The Earth. Courtesy: Michelle Dall'Acqua/Heartstrings Jewelry
Heartstrings Jewelry designed a custom necklace for Canadian band Walk Off The Earth.
Heartstrings Jewelry designed a custom necklace for Canadian band Walk Off The Earth. Courtesy: Michelle Dall'Acqua/Heartstrings Jewelry

She said having a physical memento that represents a special musical moment resonates with a lot of people.

“I’m continually surprised by the response from well-known artists as well as… people [who] come up to me and say, ‘I wear your earrings every day and I love these.’ [There are] people who send me their strings to get something made from their daughter’s violin strings or their spouse’s guitar strings,” Dall’Acqua said.

“It’s been a privilege for me to be able to provide that connection to music for people.

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“The way music touches people — it’s a universal thing and that’s where we create memories. There [are] so many feelings around music, whether it’s your favourite band or your favourite song, and to be able to transform that into something people can wear and carry with them… it’s a really great thing and it connects with everyone.”
Heartstrings Jewelry has collaborated with Canadian band Walk Off The Earth.
Heartstrings Jewelry has collaborated with Canadian band Walk Off The Earth. Emily Mertz, Global News