Camilla Mathiasen, a 22 year old jewelry artist from Denmark, is the driving force behind Danagonia. She started making jewelry only a year ago; she told us, "I bought a book about soldering and got hooked. It's not the easiest way to start, but that's what I did. I never had any training; I just bought a bunch of books and taught myself everything."
"Being on different jewelry forums has helped me a lot as well. I have been a member on the Starving Artists forum ever since I first started out. Since the first soldered pieces, I have explored lots of different techniques. My favorites at the moment are polymer clay and wire wrapping. This is an example of my wire wrapping. It is also the first piece I ever tried to oxidize, so it was a great learning experience, and the piece means a lot to me. The story behind the piece: Roses hold great magic powers. They are often used in love spells and protection spells. I wire wrapped this rose with just those two things in mind. So I am sure this pendant will bring the owner love and protection! Materials used: Pure copper, 3/4mm jade and cat's eye beads."
Camilla's inspiration comes from the world of fantasy. She has worked up a small magic world around herself, and here is her story, in her own words:
I am originally from the Kingdom of Denmark, but I am currently working as an intern in the land of Dragonia! If you have never heard of the land Dragonia, do not despair. Very few people have had the chance to visit this magic place. In Dragonia, the Fairies and Gnomes rule. I have learned to put a little bit of magic into all my jewelry, through my internship at the Amethyst Jewels. When you live in the land of fairies, there is never a dull moment!Camilla's favorite material is copper. The color of the metal speaks to her, and it fits her fantasy theme very well. She especially likes the way oxidized copper looks in her creations. She loves to use all sorts of colourful semi precious stones; jade being her favorite.
All my jewelry has a small fantasy story to it, describing who it used to belong to, or how it came to be. All of my stories involve fantasy creators such as mermaids, fairies and gnomes. My mother is a fantasy artist, and we try to incorporate each other into our work; lots of my stories have a link to some of my mother's stories. I get my creative talent from her. She is a big inspiration to me, and is my best friend and mentor. My jewelry and I have our own section on her homepage at www.nidlongdir.dk. I spend all my spare weekends at my parents house, where I work closely together with my mother.
She also creates her own beads using polymer clay. She told us, "I have had a small course here in Denmark, in making polymer clay beads, and that is really the way I want to go. I found myself loving the teaching role, and decided to study to become a school teacher. My plan is to take the teaching techniques I learn there, and apply them to teaching jewelry making as well. That way I can combine hobby and job in a great way!"
"This is an example of my polymer clay work. The small rose beads are handcrafted by me. It took a long time to create this piece, and I am very happy with how it turned out. The story behind the piece: Summer is just around the corner, and all the roses will bloom. The fairies are preparing them to wake right now. And I felt so inspired by the rose's beauty, that I created this wonderful polymer clay bracelet! Materials used: Pure copper, polymer clay handmade beads, faceted aventurine, fluorite, round jade and opalite. "
Camilla lives with her fiancé in a very small apartment. He is very supportive of her jewelry making, and very patient with her hammering and smelly chemicals. She laughed and said, "Not to forget all the beads that are always lying on our floor!" They will be married next winter, and, of course, the ceremony will have a fantasy theme, where all the guests will be asked to dress as fantasy characters. We can't wait to see the jewelry that Camilla designs for herself and her bridal party.
Camilla finished by saying, "I try to have as much fun in life as possible. I had a very enchanting childhood, and I never really stopped believing in magic. Anything can come true if you just believe. This is the philosophy I hope to teach my own children, and hopefully all the children I will be teaching when I graduate."
We're quite sure that she will.
The SATeam blog features artisan handmade creations by the etsy starving artists jewelry team. SATeam members create handcrafted jewelry and beads. More information about our team and its current etsy shop owner members can be found at SATEAM.etsy.com.