My Creative Friend | Danielle

I first met my creative friend Danielle through What It Takes, a program organized by The Hive Archive, a feminist arts collective in Providence.  What It Takes is for creative people who want to learn about how to make their art into a sustainable living - all of that sometimes scary, sometimes annoying, and sometimes really fun business-y stuff.  I learned that Danielle is a jewelry designer, and it's been so inspiring to see her business, DaVine Jewlery blossom over the past year!

Danielle & her fiance at the Providence Art Festival
Tell us about your medium and how you got started with it.
My love of jewelry started when I was a little girl - I used to love playing with and looking through my mother's and my grandmother's jewelry. When my grandmother gave me one of her old jewelry boxes filled with items she no longer wore I was so thrilled! I used to proudly wear my own jewelry creations to school growing up, starting with beaded stuff and evolving to wire work as I got older. When I first decided to go to the Rhode Island School of Design I thought I was going to major in sculpture, but quickly realized when I took an elective Jewelry & Metalsmithing class my freshman year that that was where I belonged - creating tiny pieces of art that people can wear!

How do you sum up your creative style?
I'd say my creative style is very earthy, and ranges from sopisticated to lovely and sometimes cute. I find a great majority of my inspiration from nature and other artworks that also were inspired by the natural. I love natural forms, patterns, and textures, and I incorporate a lot of them in my work - I'm always on the lookout for any sort of plant materials, shells, stones, etc. to add to my Inspiration Collection.

When you work, do you love the process or the result?  Why?
I actually love both! The process is wonderful - with jewelry there can be a lot of repetitive work that many people would find boring, but I find it meditative and relaxing. I love working on a small scale, dealing with precision and intricacies. I also thoroughly enjoy exploring new techniques, finding inspiration in new places, and trying different things - this keeps me excited about my work. The satisfaction of the process leading to a great result always feels good. I'll often find myself looking at an especially labor-intensive piece thinking "Wow, I can't believe I made this". I love almost everything I make, and I love it when other people enjoy my pieces enough to want to wear them too.

What is you favorite thing you've created and why?
That would be a necklace I made to commemorate the birth of a longtime friend's daughter. She wanted something special, and decided she wanted to use a flower and stone from her daughter's birthmonth. I created a tiny waterlily pendant with a delicate ruby set in the center for her. I was very happy with how it came out (so much so I almost wanted to keep it for myself!), but the fact that it was such a sentimental piece made it that much more special.

Where do you get support?
I am very lucky and get lots of support from my family and loved ones. My parents were always extremely supportive of my creative endeavors growing up. My mom kept us busy with fun craft projects on rainy days, and they encouraged me to take any classes or workshops that I wanted. Even when I decided I wanted to go to art school they never once tried to discourage or dissuade me - if they had any fears of me not being able to make a living and ending up a starving artist I never knew it! Nowadays my parents and sister are there when I do shows and very helpful in promoting me when I'm feeling shy. My sweet fiance never complains about all of the house and yardwork piling up these days, instead he does more house and yardwork so that I can spend more of my time outside of my day job in the studio. 

What is your creative ambition?
My biggest ambition is to be able to quit my day job and create my jewelry full-time - one I share with many other artists out there! I'd like to be able to have a studio/space large enough that I could have a little shop-front and maybe lead workshops and classes in the back. Sharing and teaching my passion and knowledge for creating is something that I've always wanted to be able to do.

How do you make time for your creative practice?
Dividing my time up between my day job and my jewelry, while still having time for the other things I like to do can be quite a balancing act at times. I try to reserve as much weekend as time as I can to spend in the studio because during the week I'm usually pretty tired out from working all day. I sometimes have to force myself into the studio at those times when I have things I need to complete, but once I'm there I'm usually glad I did that instead of lazing around on the couch. 

Thanks for sharing, Danielle!  To see more from DaVine jewlery, check out Danielle's Etsy Shop, Flickr photos, and follow her on Facebook!


**My Creative Friend is a series of blog posts featuring the creative practices of creative women in my life, (usually) posted on the last weekend of each month. By sharing our processes, my hope is that we can all learn, grow, and be inspired in our own work. If you're interested in being featured, please contact me!**

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