Driven: Cars Into Jewelry

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From the candy apple red of a ‘79 Bronco to the faded turquoise of a ‘59 International, every bit of color in You Got Mojo’s jewelry comes from the original paint of a vintage vehicle. YGM salvages metal from old cars and trucks, and meticulously cuts, sands, bends, rivets, solders and polishes it into stunning modern jewelry.

Photography by Anna Vischer

All photography, except where noted, by Anna Visscher

Pyper Hugos and Jarrod Eastman, the partners behind You Got Mojo, handcraft each ring, necklace, earring, and bracelet from beginning to end in their home studio south of Bozeman. Surrounded by candy colored piles of metal scraps, lovely found objects, and Jarrod’s delightfully quirky art, Pyper and Jarrod work, play, and create together.

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Pyper started tinkering with metal over a decade ago. She first created cheerful signs and abstract art from salvaged metal, then began playing with jewelry designs. When a friend gave her a rainbow-hued box of car metal scraps she was hooked by the vivid colors. The business grew quickly from there, with Jarrod eventually joining in as production assistant, junkyard laborer, and website designer. They now conduct their own junkyard Easter egg hunts across the state, always searching for the perfect new color amid acres of brown and rusty cars.

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Left and right photos by You Got Mojo, center photo by Anna Visscher

Pyper has a keen design sense, and she crafts pieces that are both playful and simple. Bright colors in striking geometric shapes layer and curve, wrapping around a wrist or a finger with an elegance that belies the rough origins of the materials. Vintage meets contemporary in not just the medium, but in the names of the pieces. “Myrtle” is a bright orange ring crafted from a ‘60’s rambler, and “Velma” is a big, boldly striped cuff created from a ‘69 Oldsmobile. The product list reads like a 1950’s bridge club roster but looks like modern art.

Pyper’s goal is to bring the materials and the stories of these old cars back to life, and her customers respond to both. “People are immediately drawn to Pyper’s modern designs and cool colors. Once they realize what they’re looking at, they light up, trying to find years or models that mean something to them.” says Amy Kirkland, owner of Altitude Gallery in Bozeman.

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Personally, I’m partial to my necklace adorned with a bit of a ’59 International, since I have fond memories of playing on the same truck when I was five. But like a kid in a candy store, I covet each and every piece this talented duo creates. Pyper is constantly evolving, coming up with new designs and color combinations. I can’t wait to see what You Got Mojo comes up with next.

In Montana you can find You Got Mojo Jewelry at Altitude Gallery in Bozeman and at Art Fusion in Big Fork. You can also find them online at yougotmojo.com.

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