Artists transform old Kansas Capitol copper into unique jewelry

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TOPEKA, Kan. -- The renovations to the Kansas Statehouse dome might be over, but the leftover scraps will live on.

Those renovations took years, but many local artists aren't letting the copper from the old Kansas Statehouse dome go to waste.

"A lot of times something so historical is either pushed away or sometimes people don't know what to do with it," said Britta McKee, one artist chosen to make jewelry out of the copper scraps.

"To be able to combine something that's historic and important to lots of people and then to put it in a way that in can be so personal and intimate, I think that's a really wonderful thing," said Bailey Marable, another artist.

"It's just really a unique conversation starter, when you're wearing it, 'Oh, yes, I have a piece of the old dome," added another artist, Kristen Haug.

Britta, Bailey, and Kristen are three of five local artists who were selected by the Kansas Historical Foundation to take part in a project creating jewelry out of copper from the Statehouse's old dome.

"All the artists that are involved in the project have taken their own style of art and then kind of utilized the metal in a way that makes sense for the kind of art that they like to make," added Marable.

After the removal of the copper back in 2012, legislators gifted the foundation with some of it, thus an idea was born.

"A lot of people want a piece of the building. piece of history," said Terry Marmet, the director of operations for the Kansas Historical Foundation. "The restoration that was done here, the money came in from all the citizens to do this project, so this is their building, their house so to speak."

"This is such an important thing for people that have been in Kansas, grew up in Kansas, still live in Kansas, that dome was an icon for us, it still is," said Marable.

For more information about the historical jewelry, please visit this link.

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