Dana creates fabulous jewelry using real gemstones. One of her specialties is the making of Gem Trees.
Dana also paints lovely watercolors such as this beautiful Sunflower:
You can purchase her work here at her ArtFire shop. I asked Dana questions about herself and her craft and here's what I learned:
What inspired you to become an artist?It’s not so much as what but who inspired me. I’ve always been the crafty sort and my grandmother taught me to appreciate all kinds of crafts including crochet, beading, collage and painting. She was also a wonderful china painter and unfortunately I never got to spend any time with her to learn that art form, but I always wanted to paint. My true design talent of creating jewelry didn’t emerge until I was in my 20’s and has been evolving and growing ever sense.
Who in the current day art scene inspires you the most?There are so many but currently I just love the art of Alisa Burke and Flora Bowley. Their sense of color and ease of design inspires me to create more and be freer with my designs. I also love the jewelry artistry of Deryn Mentock and Susan Lenart Kazmer who I feel have a firm understanding and application of basic craftsmanship and a touch of whimsy.
Do any famous artists inspire you?All artists inspire me famous or not just as nature inspires me. I believe that art can be found in our everyday lives and we just have to know where to look for it.
I've heard it said that where one grew up as a child, has a lasting impression on the type of art one prefers to create. Would you say this applies to you?I believe our roots do have an impression on our art. I grew up in Oklahoma in a very small town in the 60’s and 70’s. It was very middle class and probably the fanciest places we went were to church on Sunday or weddings. My designs tend to be fairly simple, classic and very wearable. They are not items you would purchase and save for a fancy dinner or event. I would like to think that where and how I grew up had a lasting impression on my designs.
How did you learn your craft (i.e. did you go to school, learn from someone else or are you self taught)?I’m mostly self taught but I have taken various classes in drawing and watercolor painting, metalsmithing, lamp work and glass fusing, of which all I still find challenging. I learned gem tree design from a friend who was the first “Master” gem tree designer in the country.
What are your favorite genres in art?Watercolor has always been my favorite, but the past few years I’ve gravitated more to photography and mixed media.
Where do your inspirations come from?Most of my inspiration comes from nature. Obviously, for gem trees, their whole design involves replicating nature as closely as possible. With jewelry I’m trying to be more design conscious by sketching first and then making but I still love to play in my bead stash and gain inspiration from what they want to be.
How can a client get in touch with you to purchase one of your pieces?My web site has a gallery of photos along with links to my blog and my ArtFire Studio.
Thank you Dana, for sharing a bit of yourself with us. Your jewelry and paintings are lovely! You can meet more of the guild members and see collections on the Pacific Northwest ArtFire Guild blog, here.
Posted for the Pacific Northwest ArtFire Guild by: Rhonda of Roban Studio