RINGWOOD, N.J. — Award-winning Ringwood photographer Dana Damiani is expanding her artistic talents into handmade jewelry.
Her business, Honey Bee Metals, only recently launched this past year but her passion for jewelry was rooted well before then.
“When I was a kid my older sister came back from Mexico with these cheap turquoise rings,” Damiani said. “I was fascinated about how they made them, but I didn’t pursue it until later in life.”
In 2009 she took the plunge into the metal arts. She enrolled in the Kulicke Jewelry School, formerly in Parsippany and now in Wayne.
“I took classes for a few years and fell in love,” Damiani said.
Fredericka Kulicke, who owns the school, was her inspiration.
“She took a whole bunch of scrap pieces and melted them down and made a ring" Damiani said. "I thought it was amazing. It was the best thing in the world.”
Soon after, Damiani transformed a den in her home into a studio where she's been crafting earrings, rings, pendants and bracelets.
“When it’s a good piece, like the lavish pendant I made last week, I am in heaven,” Damiani said. “When I make something really amazing I personally can’t stop looking at it. And if someone buys them, then I am so happy.”
Most of Damiani’s sales come through word of mouth. She's also promoting on Facebook and is looking to sell in local shops.
Damiani is also a photographer.
“My father was a nature photographer and he would take me everywhere when I was little," she said. "I got the bug.”
She has since won awards in local shows for shots of architecture.
“I just turned 50 and it’s really nice to be forcing myself to make my free time just for me,” Damiani said. “Even if it’s not a lot of time, I feel really lucky.”
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