Saturday, February 9, 2013

Interview with Dawna Davis - Jewelry Artist & Designer

FPAC:  How did you learn your craft as a wire-jewelry artist?
DD:  I found art later in life after having several different careers. I was living in Southern California at the time and took a couple of wire classes at Otis College of Art and Design to learn the basics but beyond that I'm self-taught.  I've taken a workshop in knitting with wire and one in weaving with wire but I like to make up designs and stitches as well.

FPAC:  How do you find the balance between being an artist and a business woman?  Any tips or tricks for artists on selling work?  
DD:  As most artists will tell you, the business side is the hardest part.  I've never been interested in marketing, branding and everything else that goes into business but if you want to succeed you have to learn how to make them work for you.  I was a member of the Artist Toolbox last year and it helped a lot.  To be honest, if I did everything I should do business-wise I'd have no time to create art.  I don't know if there is a balance where I'm concerned.  I find sometimes I have to put all my energy into the business end and other times go full speed ahead creating pieces for shows or sales.  As far as tips are concerned... you just have to get out there, meet people and make connections, show them you are passionate about what you do.  Also, social media is important.  I'm just starting to use it.

FPAC:  Who or what inspires your work?  
DD:  When I first started putting my bead "collections" together I was quite influenced by my favorite places in California:  Sequoia, Mojave, Seamist and by shape and color: Purple Passion, Midnight Moods, Ametrine...  I love to look at beautiful and interesting metal and wire work, but try to not be influenced by other jewelers' work. I want mine to be fresh and original.

 FPAC:  What are your favorite beads and stones to work with and why?  
DD:  My favorite color has always been purple, so any collection that incorporates it is special.  Ametrine is a favorite.  It's a cross between citrine and amethyst.  I love bright blue lapis and of course, sleeping beauty turquoise.

FPAC:  If you could set up shop anywhere in the world, any personal or economic reservations aside, where would you go?  
DD:  That's a hard question.  I spent 4 years in Australia - love it there - and I have good friends there but my favorite place is Italy.  The combination of scenery, history, the people, the food and the way I feel there is magical.

FPAC:  Where can we find/see/purchase your work?  
DD:  My jewelry is on consignment in Taos, NM and Key Largo, FL but locally MBrann in Mashpee Commons, Minerva's Owl in Roslindale Square, The Store atArsenal Center for the Arts, Bead and Fiber in the South End (where I also teach wire classes) and of course, our FPAC store, Made in Fort Point.  I also see customers by appointment in my studio.

FPAC:  Given all the new small businesses, restaurants, and buildings popping up around  Fort Point, what are you MOST excited about?  
DD:  I don't think there is one thing I'm most excited about.. I guess it's more the hope that as we get more populated and popular we will attract more "convenience" retail like a CVS or a Trader Joe's and more civic space and it will have more of a neighborhood feel.  I also hope that the Artist District is not gobbled up by the Innovation District, but that we can co-exist.

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