If you seek wind chimes, necklaces, bracelets or earrings, trust Phil Hendrix of Aledo to fork them over.
Hendrix, along with his wife Louise, has a business called Phil’s Phorks (phils-phorks.com). He repurposes plated silverware into rings, bracelets, wind chimes, fishing lures and more.
“A fork that’s been twisted just so makes a perfect business card holder, said Phil, who makes 25 to 27 different items. Whenever the Hendrixes appear at a craft show, customers invariably ask questions about what they can make.
“Can you make me a zipper pull?” or “Can you make a cuff bracelet?” is always answered with “Yes!”
Often, Hendrix said, he works with dinnerware that’s 80 or more years old. “This allows me to make something out of (a customer’s) Grandma’s silverware,” he said. “Everything we do is hand-done.” Often, he creates jewelry out of silverware that’s been in a customer’s family, and that becomes a family heirloom.
He doesn’t use templates, so no two items are alike, says Hendrix, a machinist at General Grind & Machine in Aledo. His items are sold throughout the United States, as far away as Anchorage, Alaska. He and his wife stay busy at various appearances.
“We don’t have many weekends off,” he says.
He’s been working in silverware for a little more than three years. He started after a neighbor saw a fork bent into a recipe card holder and told Hendrix about it. Now he lies in bed and thinks about different designs and items. “I’ve got more in my head,” he said.
He uses silverware and its various parts to create a variety of eye-catching crafts. “People want bling,” he explains.
Forks aren’t the only source material he uses. For example, he flattens the bowls of spoons to create fish shapes and makes wind chimes out of them. Hendrix creates the objects in his garage, using a vise, a hammer, pliers “and a lot of homemade fixtures.”
The most enjoyable part of Phil’s Phorks is meeting people at the shows, says Hendrix, a self-proclaimed “old hillbilly from Missouri” who enjoys a good chat, adding, “I just flat-out love people.”
He has given away hundreds of his creations. He has made more than 1,000 key rings out of fork and spoon handles.
“If somebody comes in and spends $10, they get a free key ring,” he said.