Zipper Necklace

The OutsaPop Zipper Necklace is constructed from 12 jacket-zippers bought from a thrift shop.

Skill Level: Junior

Total Cost: The total cost is relative, because the materials are recycled/secondhand. I found a bag full of them (205 pcs to be exact) with just 5 euro, (about $7). I usually use about 12 zips per necklace, but I’ve also done them with just 8 or as many as 15.


12 long jacket zippers with metal teeth

Strong denim thread


loads of pins

a fitting dummy

sewing needle

Get to it!

1. Open up the zippers, creating the organic form using pins on a dummy.

2. After pinning the necklace together, take it off the dummy and sew it together by hand.

The Dream Team

Sarah Cass is the next big thing in music photography, but she couldn’t do it without her right-hand lady

I became something of a mind reader about three years ago when I befriended Sarah Cass. Her ability to communicate using limited speech works well with my own tendency to fill space and time with as many paragraphs as the air will allow.

She’s the photographer, and I’m the writer and manager. Our respective titles run from business partners to best friends — we’re together 24 hours a day, seven days a week, working, living, and creating. I know everything from Sarah’s ideal sleep schedule (4 a.m. to 1 p.m.) to how long it takes her to retouch a series of photos (less than three hours, as she likes her subjects to look like real people), to when she needs a haircut. I’m her scheduler mouthpiece, cheerleader, and alarm clock. And she’s my rock.

Funny thing is that we haven’t always been friends. When I met Sarah five years ago, we didn’t much care for each other. I was the loud, obnoxious girlfriend of her roommate who lived on the second floor of the legendary Denver hipster flop-house, Le Crunk Manor. She was the quiet, obtuse photographer in the basement of our shared space, always studying and shooting. I think we hung out once that year, if you count being at the same Her Space Holiday show. The era ended at Le Crunk, and we all went our separate ways.

Two years later, Sarah called me out of the blue and invited me to dinner. To this day, I have no clue what prompted the phone call, but like most things with Sarah, I don’t ask. In any normal business endeavor, having one partner in the dark spells disaster. Between Sarah and me, it’s the grease on our track. Simply put, Sarah takes the gorgeous pictures, and I make sure she wakes up in time for the shoot.

Sarah, now 23, started shooting country music concerts as a teenager but made photography her career goal when she was a student at the Art Institute of Colorado. “I was really bad at photography at first, and it took me about a year and a half to figure out what I was doing,” she says. “I just kept at it and tried to shoot more and more.” To gain experience, Sarah interned for record labels K, Kill Rock Stars, and the promotion company Fanatic. “People started to take me seriously and referred me to others.”

Growing up in a tight-knit music community in Grand Junction, Colorado, Sarah’s passion has taken her all over North America, from British Columbia to New York, all to photograph the bands she loves. Her gentle nature and ability to make the most uncooperative and shy people laugh for a photograph is one part of her magic — the other is in her eye for the undiscovered, both in subject matter and basic photographic location. Sarah never uses a studio, instead placing her subjects in bathroom stalls, on floors of Soho boutiques, in front of Teepees at the Smithsonian, against carpet displays in flooring stores, and often having bands sneak into school yards after dark, all to get the perfect shot.

When Susie Ghahremani, 27, graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2002, she was compelled to make a connection with the outside world with her art. “But I didn’t have the budget to build an expensive portfolio,” she says. “At the same time, when you’re actively making art, a printed portfolio can become outdated by the time you’ve assembled it.”

So Ghahremani plunked down $80 for a Web site, named it (for the childlike wonderment and energy of the first kind of party you go to as a kid), and used it to host her art, which consists of muted-color illustrations of animals and invigorating interpretations of objects in daily life. Ghahremani told her friends about it, who told their friends about it, and now, five years later, the San Diego-based artist has her hands full with the thriving business.

“Behind every successful crafter was an uninspiring day job,” Ghahremani says of the dreaded dead-end days jobs that motivated her to take her company seriously. The motivation paid off. Ghahremani has been self-employed full time for five years. “ has commanded my entire focus,” she says. “[I work on] running the site, making new products and art and illustrations, having art shows, wearing PJs all day, attending craft shows, answering e-mails, meeting deadlines, and occasionally hula-hooping.”