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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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!
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.
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?
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!!
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!
It took me a while to figure out what I wanted to do with my life. I was 26 when I finally started college in earnest. The first paper I wrote in college was drafted on paper, with pencil. I didn’t have a typewriter so I had to go to the Technology Resource Lab to create the final copy. I had a choice between using an electric typewriter or a computer. I remember thinking, “How cool, an electric typewriter!!” Two years later when I got to the UW, using email was required. None-the-less, I never once sent an email during the three years I was there. I only ever “replied”. Hahaha! If you want to hear a good story, ask me sometime about my first laptop… Anyhow, these stories are to help you understand my relationship to modern technology. If I can avoid it, I generally will. That being said, THANK GOODNESS for technology during Covid19!!!
At Danaca Design Studio I’ve prided myself on creating top-notch learning opportunities by providing a well-equipped space and excellent instruction. At this time I’m not able to share my studio with you however I can share my knowledge. Last week I made my first technical video about wire working. I’m sure there are thousands of videos on this subject but I had to start with something simple. It was TERRIBLE!! I decided to toss that idea out and instead stick with what I do best; teach students interactively. Yet teaching zoom jewelry making is a little different than zoom yoga, it’s quite a bit more complicated, especially for beginners. But I AM figuring out the technology!!!!!!!
The next barrier is tools. If you want to learn jewelry making while you shelter in place, you’re going to have to invest in tools. Therefore I’ve put together five kits to get you started. These kits are designed to be purchased in order. Essentially you’ll need what’s in Kit #1 to really use Kit #2 effectively. I’m currently designing streaming classes geared specifically to making jewelry with what’s in these kits, which is so much! To be clear, you do not to buy these kits to participate, BUT you will need what’s in the kits if you want to. Also, you do not need to buy tools you already own, we can custom build you a kit from what’s available, just email us firstname.lastname@example.org
It’s so important to me that my virtual classes are a valuable experience for you. I’ll send a quick email once the classes are live. In the meantime please take a look at our kits AND the informative videos I put together about them!
I’m looking forward to seeing you in the zoom realm.
Do you have a little extra time on your hands or need a distraction from our current global crisis or just need to GET AWAY FROM YOUR COMPUTER SCREEN?! A small team at Danaca Design has created a challenge for you. Well, actually a competition with a cash prize!
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 select up to 64 rings. These rings will be paired into matches and posted to our Instagram story at 9am (Pacific), every day in June. The Ring with the most points moves onto the next round. The last ring standing will be crowned, the RING KING! HAHA, ok we haven’t actually discussed the title yet! But the main point is they win the money.
Our esteemed jurors this year are, Anika Smulovitz and Andrew Cooperman. Learn more about them below!
This competition was 100% inspired by Saltstone Ceramics’ Mug Madness. It looked like so much fun I thought we should give it a try! Details are below and at www.danacadesign.com. If you don’t have a home studio this might be a great time to get REALLY creative!
Battle of the Rings or #RingSmackdown2020: One Ring to Rule Them All
One submission per artist
The ring must be an original design created by submitting artist
The ring must fit within a USPS, small flat rate shipping box with enough padding to ship safely.
The ring must fit fingers between sizes 5-10
No restriction on the nature of material used or shape within above parameters.
The ring must be for sale: 50/50 split; all selected rings will be available on the Danaca Design Online Gallery for the duration of the tournament and circumstances permitting, be part of a special exhibition in the Seattle studio gallery.
The retail price of the ring must not exceed $1,200
Suggested entry fee of $5-$25
Deadlines: Submission Deadline: May 1, 2020 Artist Notification Date: May 8, 2020 Rings Due to Gallery: May 15, 2020 Competition/Show Dates: June 1-30, 2020 Enter the competition HERE! And may the best ring win… 🙂
Battle of the Rings Jurors
Anika Smulovitz is an artist, metalsmith, and Professor of Art at Boise State University. Smulovitz served on the Board of Directors of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (2009- 2012). Smulovitz’ work is exhibited nationally and internationally, and appears in numerous publications. Her work is included in the permanent collection of The Jewish Museum in NYC, has received a Niche Award and she also holds a US Design Patent for her Lip Liners. She received her MFA (2003) and MA (2001) from University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her BFA from University of Oregon (1997).
Seattle metalsmith Andy Cooperman makes all sorts of things from all sorts of things and is known for applying the rigorous craftsmanship of fine metalsmithing to a wide variety of, often disparate, materials.. He has been a jeweler and metalsmith for over thirty years and a writer and educator for close to that. Andy especially loves making rings—rings of all kinds– from wedding bands to rings sporting nine-inch porcupine quills
Andy teaches and lectures around the country as a visiting artist, seminar and workshop instructor. As an ordained minister in the Universal Life Church, he is also available for parties, bar mitzvahs and weddings.
It feels like the world is going to hell in a hand basket, or maybe a basket of disinfecting wipes…none-the-less we must carry on, with extra care and diligence of course. In light of the ongoing developments of Covid-19, Danaca Design is taking steps to maintain a healthy environment physically, mentally and emotionally.
This is what we are doing:
Cleaning, a lot. Yep, don’t be surprised if the studio smells like a swimming pool when you come to class. It’s refreshing. Feels like summer!
We are also restricting our already small classes to an even smaller number, giving each student a healthy amount a breathing room, literally, with never more than 10 in the room including the instructor.
Most importantly, we are asking you to stay home from class if you have a sore throat, a cough or fever. We have extended our class cancelation policy to a last minute drop-out, so if you will not be attending, shoot us an email and we will send you a class credit to be used in the future, which we all hope will be brighter.
No doubt there will be some scheduling changes, especially with our visiting instructors who might prefer to stay put rather than travel to our area. Can we blame them?! That being said, we are super lucky in Seattle to have a plethora of local artists to study with, some of the best in the country.
Lastly, we are researching additional learning options including increased one-on-one instruction and online tools in hopes of offering distance learning to those of you with a space to work at home.
This small business genuinely appreciates your support and hopes to see you over the course of what will likely be a challenging time. However, it is important to keep up your spirits and for me nothing beats a creative day in the studio.
Looking for quality used precision tools? Gemstones, miscellaneous jewelry or art supplies? This swap meet is basically a big garage sale for local jewelers to buy, sell, and swap tools and supplies of the trade! There is NO CHARGE to attend and you don’t have to bring anything to swap but definitely bring some cash:) Be sure to check out the free table too! Who knows what treasures you may find?