Belly Dance Design Jewelry

The origins of a jewelry designer

First Byzantium Collection Necklace - Cat's Eye by Davina

The Origins of a Jewelry Designer

The Byzantium Collection

As many of you have realized, 2011 marks a year of intensive change for me and my company.  I moved into a new studio (just to find out that the building is slated for demolition and my time here is limited) and discovered all kinds of treasures.  As I start purging the UFO’s (Un-Finished Objects) and sift through raw materials in preparation for using them or letting them go, I’m finding all sorts of lovely things that had gotten buried.

In one corner of the workroom is a pile of boxes full of beads and jewelry making supplies.  I have already sent many of these supplies out into the world in the form of raw materials to fellow jewelry artists, finished pieces for my patrons, and even a few gifts to myself.  As I’ve been working through a rather epic pile of tribal jewelry components, I found the very first piece of jewelry I designed and made myself.

I hired my good friend and jewelry mentor Laura Thompson of Beadzilla Jewelry to come and host a “ladies lunch & tea with jewelry” at my home.  There were five of us around a table, crafting away, and I made this necklace from a handful of beads and a piece of kuchi jewelry I adored.  Needless to say, I was instantly HOOKED on jewelry making and sucked up as much knowledge from Madame Beadzilla as I could.  Before I knew it, I was making and selling jewelry as a creative side-line to my costumes.  As time passed, I realized that jewelry making is fun, but it’s just one facet of my life as a designer.   Now, I make jewelry when called upon to do so.  I also make a few pieces and take them to art shows now and again.  But the truth is, I’d rather be making a head-to-toe costume than just focusing on the neck.  The Byzantium Collection is now created on a piece-by-piece custom for each client, sometimes even including a coordinating necklace.  But I’ll always treasure this very first piece.

It’s fun to sometimes peek into the past and see the personal relics and marvel at how things got started.  I’ve had a ton of fun as a jewelry artist.  Be sure to try your hand at jewelry design at some point!  Take a class, buy a book, or just get some materials to experiment with.  It’s fun, relatively easy, and you never know where you it will end up.   Enjoy!  ~ Dawn Devine ~ Davina

By Davina

Davina ~ Dawn Devine is a belly dance costume designer, dance instructor and author of more than a dozen publications on Middle Eastern dance.