ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (FOX 13) - A former database programmer made a career 180 and began designing jewelry about 15 years ago.
Now, Mark Noll is an established member of St. Petersburg's community of artists.
He started out making his art as a side job but after an injury, he decided to do it full time.
"It's been just a blessing to be able to work for myself and pay all my bills doing something I enjoy," he said.
He started out by using wood to make craft his jewelry. A friend happened to offer Noll a piece of discarded Corian countertop and for Noll, it was a game-changer. Noll said once he started to work with the Corian, basically a cast acrylic, he found it was a better material to work with and super lightweight.
"The material was able to take more detail than the wood, it didn't need to be varnished and I didn't need to worry about it getting wet like wood," he explained.
He decided to look for more Corian countertop pieces and found a local cabinet shop that was about to discard a large quantity of the material.
Thanks to Noll, the materials never ended up in a local landfill. Instead, he spends the entire day loading the material up into his truck.
"Right now I probably have enough for next 20 years," Noll said. Noll mostly makes earrings and necklaces from the Corian and sells over 100 pairs of earrings every week.
"So it's fun. You can tell them 'this is countertops', and then a lot of the women will go 'Oh my gosh! I had this color in my kitchen."
Noll's work can be found at local markets, shops, and even the Salvador Dali Museum.
For more info visit his website, www.marknolldesigns.com