Friday Interview with Danielle of DaVine Jewelry December 04, 2014 21:10 1 Comment

Introduce yourself and tell us about your handmade business
Hello! I’m Danielle, and my business is DaVine Jewelry. I make delicate jewelry inspired by nature, a passion that I got to explore in my senior project at RISD and still find endless inspiration in! Within a year of graduating, I started my 6 year stint working in the costume/fashion jewelry industry as a designer. It was fun for a while, but after some time I began to feel like my heart wasn't really in the work, and I started to miss making things that were meaningful to me. I left that industry, rebuilt my studio, started creating my own work again, and I haven’t looked back!

Can you describe your studio?

Right now my studio is split in two between our spare bedroom and our basement. I keep my kiln for firing my metal clay work in the basement, but I do the majority of my work in my upstairs studio. That room is my haven, the green walls are covered in images that I love along with lots of shadow boxes and display cases full of various nature objects I’ve been collecting since I was a kid. I have my always messy work bench on one end close to the windows (so I can look out at the neighborhood birds and cats), and I do my jewelry photography on the other end on an antique secretary’s desk that opens up to just the right size for my light tent.

Do you have a favorite metalsmithing tool?

Tools are very precious to a metalsmith, and it’s hard to pick just one favorite! They become an extension of your body when you’re working, and if well cared for can last a lifetime. I do however have some old needle files that hold sentimental value. My great uncle was a toolmaker in his day, and when he passed away my grandfather collected all of the amazing needle files his brother had kept and gave them to me knowing I would put them to good use.

What's your creative process, how do you find inspiration?
As I mentioned, my main inspiration comes from nature. Taking a walk somewhere outside (in the woods, on a beach, or even just in my backyard) or working in my garden are some of my favorite ways to recharge creatively. I was raised with a great appreciation and love for the natural world, and I’ve been collecting found nature objects for as long as I can remember, being inspired by a visit to RISD’s amazing Edna Lawrence Nature Lab in elementary school.

I like to hold these things in my hands (leaves, branches, broken shells, etc.), inspecting their textures, forms, and details, playing around with them until an idea strikes me. Sometimes I’ll use the method of lost wax casting and metal fabrication to replicate the objects, or, lately, I’ve been using metal clay to experiment with the textures of leaves.

Do you remember the first piece of jewelry you made?
Haha, one of the first pieces of jewelry I can distinctly remember making was a pair of earrings with some tiny iridescent pink heart beads when I was in 3rd grade. I was pretty proud of them, I think it was the first time I bent wire with pliers. Luckily my work has since grown and evolved!

What do you like best about creating wearable works of art?
This quote from Georgia O’Keeffe has stuck with me and inspired me for the past 16 or so years: “When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”

I love to do the same thing with my jewelry- to show people the details and beauty I see in the natural world, allowing them to carry these objects with them as wearable sculptures, reminding them of things often overlooked and taken for granted in everyday life.

How did you become involved with Craftland?

My friend Katy Westcott of Katrinkles told me about Craftland back when it was still a holiday pop-up shop (Katy has introduced me to many awesome things in life, also including crocheting and German food). I’ve been in love with the shop since then, and have secretly/not-so-secretly hoped to someday have work in Craftland for years!

Guilty pleasure you'd like to share?

I have a penchant for TV shows about ghosts and hauntings, the cheesier the better. I became fascinated with reading about ghosts when I was a kid, and even though I’ve always had a vivid imagination and scare easily I just couldn’t stop myself from reading about and watching that kind of stuff.