Later in life, I developed an obsession with beads. I would walk through craft stores touching strands of beads, watching the way they interacted with each other, and imagining ways to put them together. It wasn’t until 2005 that I started to make jewelry. Beginning with simple bead-stringing, I worked my way through more advanced bead work, bead-making, wire-wrapping, and silversmithing. While I use some of all of these techniques, I have developed a deep love for working with metal. Thus, the refinement of my metalsmithing skills is the current focus in my work.
When I design a piece, I want it to reflect a part of myself. I also want it to be worn. My work is not to be kept in a box on a shelf, only taken out on occasion. The true value of jewelry is not dependent on the materials used. Rather, it is the way you feel when you wear it. It is the compliment that a stranger gives you. It is the memory that is jogged every time you see it on your body. While the themes in my work will change as I do, these core beliefs will remain. [/learn_more]
[learn_more caption="Biography"] Born and raised in Boston, it was not until I moved to Maine in early 2000 that I began my creative life. Perhaps it was the natural beauty of this state which inspired me. Or, perhaps, it was the number of Portland residents who fearlessly express their individuality, regardless of what others might think. I began working in fibers: knitting, spinning, weaving, quilting.
After some time, I became aware of my attraction to shiny things. Like a raven, my eye was constantly being drawn to jewelry and accessories that I saw around me. Much of my early work was very rough. My education was limited to internet research. I found a local art studio that taught metalsmithing classes, and signed up. That was the start of my journey, almost 5 years ago. Moving from stringing beads on string to forging and manipulating silver was a freeing moment. I could now take a piece of raw silver from the earth, heat it up, hit it with a hammer, melt it, bend it, and end up with a ring! When you think about this, it is really rather amazing.
I have since been continuously working on my technique and on the creation of new and interesting designs. I have done a number of local art shows, and my work has been sold in a number of specialty shops, as well as online. I officially started Dan Clark Designs as a business in 2008, and haven’t looked back since. While I do still have a “day” job, my personal time is being taken up by my passion. I eagerly await the day when I can devote myself, full time, to my art. [/learn_more]