Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Featured Artist: Dawn Cook of Caly's Jewelry Creations


Dawn of Caly's Jewelry Creations describes her jewelry as funky & fun with a beach attitude. Her friend Lea's lampwork beads were the inspiration in this bracelet. Dawn says, "When you look into the beads...it's like you're looking into the sea. They are that good...! I used Hill Tribe silver fish beads, Amazonite, sunstone and Swarovskis in colors that complemented the beads. I patina'd some of the sterling silver wire, but not all of it."

For Caly's Jewelry Creations, Dawn uses sterling silver with polymer clay, fine silver and fused glass accents. She also uses swarovski crystal and semi-precious gems. She works with a local silver caster for her sterling focals and has a glass artist friend who makes awesome sea creatures out of Boro glass. She also uses a lot of Kazuri beads from Kenya because their colors are fantastic and brilliant. She told us, "I use quality materials in my jewelry. I want to make jewelry that will last and bring back many happy memories."

The ocean and all its creatures are Dawn's constant inspiration. The brilliant colors of the sea are her palette. About this necklace, she says, "This is one of my friend Jill's focals. It's a fairly simple necklace. I wanted to complement the glass without taking away from it. Freshwater pearls and Swarovskis in warm colors give the right amount of splash to the glass."

When people wear her jewelry, Dawn wants them to feel like they just got back from a Caribbean vacation. She says, "The coolest thing to me has been seeing people who've purchased my jewelry....wearing it somewhere. That is the most awesome feeling."

Dawn is mostly self taught, and she is learning lost wax casting right now. She is hoping to be able to make her own unique sterling focals. She is working with a gentleman locally who has been casting for 15 years. She says, "I've always done different crafts. About 7 years ago I took a jewelry making class at a local shop and I was hooked. I have never looked back."

"I don't have an art background, but I do have a jewelry background. My great-grandmother and grandmother owned a jewelry store for about 50 years. They had the "good" stuff...diamonds and emeralds. I so wish my love of jewelry had manifested itself earlier...the things they could have taught me. I didn't remember the store very well...and then it hit me...I've kind of come full circle."

Dawn works in a casino at night as a craps dealer. She told us, "I've been doing that for 16 years. I have a DB of 8 years and 3 dogs who are my babies. My only "hobby" right now is my business. I don't have too much free time for anything else right now, but I enjoy reading and SCUBA diving. We enjoy going to NASCAR races. I work all day at my business...making jewelry, listing and marketing before I go to work at night."

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.


Bonnie said...

Dawn's work is beautiful! I love her ocean inspired pieces.

Caly's Jewelry Creations said...

Thanks for the awesome write up...! Thanks for the compliment Bonnie...! The ocean is my biggest inspiration...!

Dirt. said...

what a fabulous feature on an amazing jewelry artisan, who just so happens to be a great friend to have as well! congrats, dawn... you definitely deserve this recognition for your wonderful work!

Sara at Soap Rehab said...

Great feature!! Love Dawn's ocean inspired jewelry...you can truly see the beauty and power of the sea in her work.

Leilani said...

I've always been an admirer of Dawn;s work. Thank you for allowing us to get to know her better!