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Pop Up Jewelry Event with Ryan Gardner

Join us on Friday December 3, 5-7pm for a pop up trunk show with jeweler Ryan Gardner. This will be our first in-person event in nearly two years! Location to be announced.

Ryan is also teaching a stone carving class on Saturday and Sunday, December 4 and 5. We have ONE spot left! Learn more and register HERE.

Ryan Gardner
Participation in the arts was always important to me growing up. A strong arts program in high school influenced my decision to pursue a degree in the arts. I chose the arts program at Bowling Green State University in northwest Ohio where I discovered and fell in love with metals. I was introduced to many artists, including Michael Boyd, who became an inspiration for me.
Upon graduation I apprenticed for Michael Boyd at his studio in Colorado. That experience turned into an eight year adventure that continues today. It was with Michael that I learned to work with and manipulate stone, adding a new element to my love of jewelry design.
Since being in Colorado I have started my own business, Ryan Gardner Designs. I now showcase my work in galleries across the country. I love working with combining stone and metal in new ways creating works of art for people to enjoy in their daily lives.
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Weekly Gallery Artist Feature

Get to know the Danaca Design Gallery artists and their work by joining us on Instagram or Facebook for regular weekly features. Beginning the first week of August, we will highlight the jewelry and story of one artist from our gallery each week. Over the course of the week, expect to see multiple photos of their work, details about their artistic process and a few personal stories too. 

As it turns out this project will take us straight through to the end of the year! 

We hope you’ll enjoy learning a little more about our artists and the diverse collection in our unique gallery. Hopefully you’ll find a couple great holiday gifts as well! 

View the jewelry HERE.

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Battle of the Rings/Ring Smackdown 2021. VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITES MAY 3- 28!

 

Dear friends, 

I recently read a blog post by Betsy Brown: Update from an Epidemic, about the new buzzword languishing.” Betsy wrote, “It can mean the blah, unmotivated feeling we are all having. Not quite depression but definitely not feeling joy. Languishing can also mean being stuck in an unpleasant place or situation.” I am definitely experiencing a little bit of that. How about you? Who would’ve thought, one year later, we would need a pick me up? 

Languish no longer! Join us next month for an exciting event, Battle of the Rings, otherwise known as the Ring Smackdowna head-to-head, tournament style, single-elimination juried competition and virtual event. First conceived and produced in the spring of 2020, this event encourages creativity, comradery among artists and a passion for the art of jewelry, most especially THE RING. This year our esteemed Jurors, Cappy Counard and Kirk Lang, juried 64 rings from a pool of 166 submissions from 24 countries. The rings will compete in daily matches on Instagram, May 3-28. 

The guidelines for this competition are simple. The rings must be of an original design, fit within a certain size restriction, with a maximum purchase price of $1,200.  These exceptional rings are gold, plastic and everything in between. Some are perfect for daily wear; others are best suited for your art collection. MANY of them move, spin, spiral, flip, fly and shoot expressing an over-arching theme of play. Others are just simply magnificently beautiful, masterfully constructed or irresistibly precious. No two are even remotely alike. All 64 rings plus 9 alternates are available for purchase throughout the month of May, a wonderful opportunity for both collectors and participating artists. 

View, read about, and purchase ALL of the rings HERE

View ALL the matches HERE 

How to Participate: 

The jurors have “drafted” 32 rings each, onto their teams The Shanks and The Mandrels. Daily matches between the teams will be posted to our Instagram story for public vote EVERYDAY, May 3-28 at 9:00 AM Pacific Standard Timeup to four per day! 

All voting happens online, at the Danaca Design Studio Instagram account only @danacadesignstudioRead about the rings first and then VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITESVoting happens through our Instagram Stories for 24 hours. While in the app, tap our flower icon by our account name. This will reveal our current story and the daily matches. Pick your favorite rings in the match by tapping “TOP” or “BOTTOM” OR “LEFT” or “RIGHT” in the poll.  You can view the poll multiple times before voting but you can only vote once–one vote per person per ring. The winner of the Instagram poll advances into the next round. Click on the links in the Instagram post to view more pictures of each ring.  

This is a VERY exciting event. DON’T MISS IT! 

One Ring to Rule Them All; May the Best Ring Win! 

 

Until then we have ONE MORE Jewelry Trivia Night, THIS WEEK, Thursday, April 29 6:30 – 8:00 PM PST. Test your jewelry knowledge! Find all the details HERE

See our Current Class Listings HERE

Learn more about these events, up-coming classes and our tool and supply shop at www.danacadesign.com where we have been keeping it fun and creative for nearly 18 years! 

Dana 

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Battle of the Rings: Ring Smackdown 2021

Battle of the Rings is a head-to-head, tournament style, single-elimination juried competition and virtual event with a top prize of $500. Two jurors will draft 32 rings each onto their team. The selected 64 rings will be paired into matches that will be posted daily to our Instagram page and story, May 3-28 at 9:00am PST. The public will vote throughout the day for their favorite ring, the ring with the most votes, advances into the next round. All selected rings will be available to purchase through our online gallery and in the store-front gallery, circumstances permitting.  

Competition/Show Dates: May 3-28, 2021 

Esteemed Jurors: Cappy Counard and Kirk Lang 

View all 166 entries HERE.

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One Year Ago and Approaching Normalcy, with Caution!

Dear Friends,

One year ago, I was expecting a visitor from Beijing. A day before her scheduled departure, ALL flights were canceled from China. Shortly thereafter, she was in TOTAL lockdown. It was then I began to think, maybe this virus thing is more serious than we know…

None-the-less, we took our annual trip to Arizona, via Joshua Tree, for the Yuma Arts SymposiumAs a joke (I think) someone passed out surgical masks during the annual pin exchange. It was funny, ironic and of course, later I regretted not keeping it!  Well, the rest is history, one with which we are all too familiar. 

For the first time in a year, I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. How about you? 

You may or may not be aware that I made some significant changes to the studio last summer. I put the gallery into storage, bought us jewelry benches and expanded the classroom into the front of the building. We are now a six-bench studio, rather than 12, with twice as much space: six very comfortable, socially distanced benches with a complete set of hand tools and a hammering station at each bench. These changes allowed us to finish out most of our rescheduled classes last year and they will allow us to move forward towards normalcy. Albeit slowly, forward we must move. 

Below are some of the activities for you can look forward to at Danaca Design Studio in the next few weeks, including Jewelry Trivia (this Thursday!), Ring Smackdown 2021 and IN STUDIO CLASSES! 

FIRST: ZOOM JEWELRY TRIVIA was a BLAST, so we are doing it again, this Thursday, FEBRUARY 25, 6:30-8:00. Looking for some good, clean fun and a little community building, join Danaca Design and Andy Cooperman and other jewelers and metalsmiths from across the country to TEST YOUR JEWELRY KNOWLEDGE! You must register HERE to participate! 

SECOND: It’s official. THE RING SMACKDOWN 2021 IS ON! Battle of the Rings, otherwise known as the Ring Smackdown, is a head-to-head, single-elimination juried ring competition and virtual event with a top prize of $500. #maythebestringwin. We are pleased to announce Cappy Counard and Kirk Lang as our 2021 esteemed jurors. SUBMISSION DEADLINE MARCH 31. Please share this call and find ALL the details HERE! 

LAST: but not least, WE’VE GOT CLASSES ON THE SCHEDULE! I know some of you are ready to get back into the studio and well, some of us are too. And while we are not 100% back to normal we are definitely working towards it starting with top qualityin studio classes. The classes are small and a bit shorter, windows are open with a refreshing cross-breeze, and of course everyone is masked but other than that, it’s pretty normal and just as much fun! See what’s on the schedule next below and all the classes HERE. 

Kiln Fire Enameling Basics IFebruary 28. Get a taste for timeless and vibrant beauty of colored glass on metal it in this quick one-day workshop with Michelle Zeidman. Details HERE. 

It Ain’t Just A Drill, HANDS-ON: Getting the Most Out Of Your Flex Shaft, March 6 and 7So, you’re a jeweler or metalsmith about to be stranded on a desert island (for some inexplicable reason this island has, along with coconuts, electricity).  You can bring only one tool. What tool do you bring? Andy Cooperman will show you why it should be a flexible shaft. Details HERE. 

Bang & Bend: Small-Scale Jewelry ForgingMarch 26-28. Moving metal with a hammer—forging—lies at the very heart of jewelry and metalsmithing and is one of its great joys with Andy Cooperman. Details HERE. 

 

We are looking forward to seeing you soon! 

Dana 

 

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STATE│meant 2020  Significant and Powerful Jewelry

Dear friends,

I am inspired. We offered jewelry artists an opportunity to speak out on challenging subjects to raise money for organizations significant to them. And speak out they did. The subjects range from immunization and global climate change to human rights and the post office. The thoughtfulness and diversity of the work demonstrates a complex range of concerns with a common thread: a sincere concern for the wellbeing of our planet and most especially those living on it.

STATE│meant is a show of Significant and Powerful Jewelry. The statements come in the form of necklaces, brooches, bracelets…there is even a tiara. Shown above is a powerful set titled, “To Wear the Ring, You Must Choose Another to Wear the Brooch” by artist Deborah Boskin.

Our jurors, moved by the eloquence of the submitting artists, selected work for both its strength in messaging through design and the clarity of their written statements.

This is a FUNDRAISER. A minimum of 50% of proceeds from each sale will be donated to the organization of the artist’s choosing and there are many! Help us help them by spreading the word. Share this post and tune in to @danacadesignstudio on Instagram for multiple postings daily and to vote, beginning Monday, October 19, for best in show.  We will announce the winner on November 4, 2020!

I made two pieces for this show. Show here is “Lacey Dissent Collar”.  Made in memory of Ruth Bader Ginsberg and in support of Planned Parenthood and in turn, ALL women across the United States. Made from heavy gauge sterling silver, the necklace is roll-printed with antique lace generously donated to the project by a good friend; it was his grandmother’s. The design boldly displays the symbol for woman. It is both overtly feminine and fierce.

I grew up during a golden age in a place with a conscience and a mother who, through necessity knew her own strength. From a young age, I understood I could become whatever I wanted. There were no limits or expectations, EXCEPT I had to go to college. From experience, my mom knew the value of an education, so “I would never need to be dependent on a man”. As a child I didn’t fully understand that girls of my mother’s generation experienced a very different upbringing. That, in fact, my experience was a small slice in time and geography. I took it for granted.

Our right to vote and choose our own future was fought for by our mothers and people like my friend’s grandmother.  It is our responsibility to ensure the generations who follow are guaranteed at the very minimum the same.

 

Thank you to our esteemed jurors, Keith Lewis and Nancy Megan Corwin.

VIEW THE BENEFICIARIES AND EXHIBITION HERE.

 

Thanks you too all the participating artists and to all of you out there supporting us and the things we care about.

Dana

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Fight For the Things You Care About

Powerful words from a woman who cared deeply about justice. What is dear to your heart? Are you doing everything you can to fight for it? If you’re a jeweler, I challenge you to do one more thing. I challenge you to Speak up! with a powerful piece of statement jewelry. And because I think this is so important, I have extended deadline!

jewelry competicion
Statement jewelry exhibition, competition and fundraiser.

Call to Artists

Juried Exhibition, Competition and Fundraiser

NEW Deadline 10/5/20

 

STATE│meant is an opportunity for you to speak out on challenging subjects and raise money for an organization significant to you. Make something new or submit an older piece. Two jurors will select work for this important show in six categories: brooches, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, rings, and headpieces. Selected work will be sold in our online gallery in support of the non-profit organization of the artists’ choosing. Starting in mid-October, to raise awareness for the project, each piece will compete on Instagram for best in category and ultimately best in show. The competition will be by popular vote with the winner announced November 4, 2020.

These are unprecedented times…got something to say about it? Now is your chance! Please share this.

Rules:

  • One submission per artist
  • The object must be an original design created by submitting artist
  • The object must not exceed 8” x 8” x 8”
  • No restriction on the nature of material used, however it must be designed to wear.
  • The object must be for sale: 50% of each piece will go direct to the organization of the artist’s choice, 25% to the artist, 25% to the gallery.
  • All selected objects will be for sale in our online gallery for the duration of the event. Danaca Design Gallery will process all sales.
  • The retail price of the object must not exceed $1,600.00 USD.
  • Artists are responsible to provide professional quality images of the work for jury and for the online gallery.
  • Artists will be responsible to drop-ship sold work to purchasing party
  • Suggested entry fee of $10-$25

 

Deadlines:

Submission Deadline: October 5, 2020 (ENTRY FORMS HERE)

Artist Notification Date: October 9, 2020

Competition/Show Dates: October 15-November 3, 2020

Our esteemed jurors: Keith Lewis and Nancy Megan Corwin

 

To inspire you I made a piece for the show. Remember the red sun and hazardous air from mid-September? So much has happened since then and the skies are now blue again, almost as if it never happened…but it did, no matter how that fact blurs over time. And it will likely happen again in part because the climate is changing.

I am fortunate to live near the water in Seattle. Every night at dusk a stream of seagulls fly west for the night. My friend calls it the “seagull highway”. I have no idea where they go but there are hundreds, maybe thousands every night, even last week. It got me thinking about all of the animals doing their best to survive under increasingly challenging circumstances. The difference between them and us is we can do something about it.

I made this brooch, a red sun with a stream on seagulls, in response to these thoughts and observations. I have titled it, “An Eerie Silence”, something all bird lovers noticed during those smoke filled days, no bird song… 100% of the proceeds from the sale of this brooch will be donated to The National Audubon Society. Look for it in our gallery in October!

Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

Dana

Classes, Gallery Event

June Surprises, July Dreams

battle of the rings Champion

Dear Friends,

June was full of surprises and the biggest for me was anticipating who would be crowned Champion of the Ring Smackdown 2020! After a grueling month of competition, Karen Keller of Pyrus Designs took the big win with her lovely ring, “Secrets Safe with Me” made from sterling silver and bolder opal.

Karen says, “This hand fabricated flip ring is full of surprises! One side has a galactic boulder opal simply set in a shadow box frame. The second side features a hand sawn beetle. Beetles are symbols of resilience and hard work while boulder opals are believed to bring clarity and emotional security. This piece also contains a ‘secret drawer’…although small, it is meant for any personal keepsake/secret. The last surprise is its versatility. It wears just as beautifully as a pendant as it a does ring!”

Karen made this ring especial for the competition. She took the opportunity to challenge herself and was rewarded well. Let’s all take a lesson from Karen! What a memorable adventure the Battle of the Rings 2020 was. It helped many people get through a tough spring and it certainly kept us all on our toes at Danaca Design. There’s no doubt, we will do this again next year. See ALL the rings HERE. Some of my personal favorites, which I will be featuring on Instagram over the next week, are still for sale!

 

In other exciting news we held our first class in the newly retrofitted Danaca Design studio space, the Beginning Jewelry Series: Introduction workshop. It was a small class which was a great way to get familiar with the new layout and covid protocols. I was concerned it wouldn’t be as much fun as B.C. (before Covid!) but this excellent group of students proved otherwise. Our new class limit is 6 students and our protocol is strict. Take a look at it HERE.

newly retrofitted studio

We’re starting to open up more workshops for the summer so if you’re ready to get back into the studio, we’re ready for you.  Check the website for regular updates, www.danacadesign.com. To make room for Covid-safe classes something had to give; sadly, for a variety of reasons, our storefront gallery became the sacrificial beast. This decision was not made lightly. Fortunately, our online gallery has taken off! So if you are looking for a special piece of jewelry for yourself or a friend please make Danaca Design Gallery a part of your shopping experience.

Although we celebrate our anniversary at Danaca Design every year in December, it was July 1, 2003 when I took the plunge and rented the building on University Way, 17 years ago… I had this idea that it would be cool to create a gathering space for people to learn and share knowledge of metalsmithing, my passion, without being locked into a long term class. And that this place could provide the tools and atmosphere for individuals to grow creatively and thus personally. It was quite a dream for a single, thirty-something-year old with no savings account, but I’ll be darned if that dream didn’t materialize.

Of course it wouldn’t have been possible without you, so cheers to you all! I say, let’s keep dreaming. I can dream with a mask on, can you?

Danajewelry studio classes beginning student projects

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Why We Pause

Dear Friends,

Well, just when the “new normal” was starting to feel normal a NEW, new normal came along. And well, that’s life, isn’t it? You just never know what’s around the corner. But of course, in truth, epidemiologists knew, sooner or later, “Pandemic” would jump from the screen into our lives. And with certainty, historians and social activists knew it was just a matter of time before the people would stand up and say, enough is enough.

In case you are unaware, on Tuesday Black Lives Matter, Seattle-King County called for a statewide silent march and general strike to take place Friday, June 12. The news has spread quickly and from what I can tell the local business community is responding. So along with ALL the breweries in Ballard and one of my favorite bakeries and countless other small businesses, Danaca Design stands in solidarity with BLM. We will be closed for business tomorrow which means hitting pause on the Battle of the Rings one more time. For more information about the day’s events visit: https://blacklivesseattle.org/statewide-silent-march-and-general-strike-on-friday-june-12th/ If you are a business owner, I encourage you to do the same.

Last week, like many Americans I took time to listen and learn more about racial injustices in our society. One of the most insightful experiences for me was watching President Obama’s town hall with national leaders working to end police violence. I learned A LOT. If you haven’t already you should check it out. Among other things it clarified for me what “defunding the police” really means. That and many other great resources can be found at the Obama Foundation https://www.obama.org/

I make a point in my communication with you, my customer base, to leave politics alone (BTW, if you EVER want to know my opinion on any political issue, please feel free to ask). However racial justice is NOT a political issue. It is a HUMAN RIGHTS issue.  It is an issue at the heart of our collective social wellbeing and our collective wellbeing is at the heart of my personal mission at Danaca Design Studio.

One of my favorite images from the events of last week was this one taken by a good friend. I think it pretty much sums up where we are at right now: You Know It’s Bad When We Are Protesting in a Pandemic!!

Please remember to wear your mask when you march tomorrow!!

Dana

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Vote for your Favorite Rings and Other Good News!

As you might remember way back in April, we launched a juried ring competition online, Battle of the Rings, a tournament style competition, with a top prize of $500. The response was fantastic! Our esteemed jurors, Anika Smulovitz and Andrew Cooperman, had the very difficult task to narrow the playing field to just 64 rings from an incredible turnout of 128 from across the country and abroad! These 64 exceptional rings have now been paired into matches. With themes including nesting and protection, many of these rings are truly works of art, snapshots of this unprecedented time in history. Collectively they represent a wide range of material, style, technique and personality. Just to be clear, for the most part these are not every-day rings, they are statement rings and they are all for sale. See ALL the rings HERE!

Above: rings by Micah Donnelly, Maru Almeida and Zuzana Korbelarova

Below: rings by Julia Lowther, Checha Sokolovic and Catherine Grisez

 

VOTE FOR YOUR FAVORITES!

 

All 64 rings have been drafted into teams: The Shanks and the Mandrels and paired into matches that will go head-to-head in competition beginning June 1st for a top prize of $500. All voting happens online, at the Danaca Design Studio Instagram account, @danacadesignstudio Throughout the entire month of June, EVERY morning at 9:00am (Pacific time), new matches will be posted in our Instagram stories: in the app, tap the flower above our account name to find them. You can pick your favorite by tapping “TOP” or “BOTTOM” in the poll. Click on the links in the Instagram post to view more pictures and information about each ring. The story can matter! Each ring can win up to three points in a match. One is given to the winner of the Instagram poll; the other two points come from our judges. The Ring with the most points moves onto the next round. See all of the matches HERE.

May the Best Ring Win; One Ring to Rule them All!

 

Looking forward to Reopening

In other good news, we are in the process of retrofitting the studio to reopen in mid-June. When we open it will be for a maximum capacity of 6 students so you know CLASSES ARE GOING TO FILL UP FAST! To keep as many of you engaged as possible we’ll continue to expand our online class offerings.  So far Wax Working for Jewelers and Mentored Independent Study are been big hits! The best thing about these online classes is now you can make new friends in Florida or Ohio or Texas! Check out what’s available in our online class lineup HERE.

 

 

Remember too that we are continuing to provide a selection of tools and supplies for curbside pick-up or to be shipped. (I still have one apron!) You can see some of what we offer in the KITS we’ve put together. If you don’t see what you need, just email us. If we have it we’ll put together a custom order for you. That’s what you might call Small Business Hospitality.

 

Looking forward to seeing you soon, whether in person or online!

Stay safe, calm, clean, and well adorned!

Dana