Tag Archives: Gallery

Trunk Show with Iris Guy and Melissa Cameron



Thursday, Nov 17th from 5:30-8:00pm Danaca Design is hosting Iris Guy and Melissa Cameron’s trunk show. We’ve been fans of both of these amazing women’s work for some time and very excited to see their new jewelry.

Not familiar with Iris or Melissa? Read on for more info:

Melissa Cameron

Melissa Cameron

Melissa Cameron

Australian-born artist and writer Melissa Cameron lives and works in Seattle, WA in the USA. She received her MFA in jewellery and metalsmithing from Monash University and a BA (hons) in interior architecture from Curtin University, in Australia. Her works are in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia, the Cheongju City Collection in South Korea, the Arts Centre Melbourne and Toowoomba Regional Art Gallery.



Deep Slip by Melissa Cameron

“Deep Slip” by Melissa Cameron


“I am a research jeweler.

The evidence of my investigations – the jewelry I produce – speaks to my interest in architecture, geometry, social justice, and the human body. Through my work I attempt to manifest my belief in the interdependence of all matter, and the sacredness of human life…”


“Resist” earrings by Melissa Cameron

“This show will see the debut of a new series of enamel and steel works, entitled Resist. An extension of my Body/Politic works, these pieces are individually enameled in a beautiful rainbow of blues, the color that is the opposite of orange on the traditional color wheel. 10% of the purchase price from the Resist line sold anywhere in the world will go to Islamic Relief USA, a non-profit 501(c)(3) humanitarian agency who work on international and domestic US development and relief projects.”

Brooch by Melissa Cameron

Brooch by Melissa Cameron


Iris Guy

Iris Guy


Iris Guy began studying conceptual design at an early age. Her avid interest in the field led to her formal study at the world renowned Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem, Israel. After graduating, she embarked on an award-winning career in graphic design. She relocated from Israel to Japan and finally to the United States, working as a freelance graphic artist.All the while, Iris designed jewelry for her friends and family.As the popularity of her personal collection grew, Iris decided to create a line of jewelry for the retail market

Hanging Line necklace by Iris Guy

Hanging Line necklace by Iris Guy

Simple, contemporary and lightweight, the Iris Guy jewelry collection offers something unique for everyone. Each individual piece is hand made in her Seattle based studio. Cultivated from unspoken desires and organic forms; playful shapes with architectural elements come to life in silver and 18k gold.

Flower brooch with rivets by Iris Guy

Flower brooch with rivets by Iris Guy

Her pieces say to their wearers – “Respond to your inner truth and desires”

 “My unique collection of necklaces and earrings features intrinsic organic elements – combining both masculine structure and the beauty of feminine contours. Simple, contemporary and lightweight! “

Galaxy earrings long comet by Iris Guy

Galaxy earrings long comet by Iris Guy

Bits and Bobs: A Collaborative Show


All of the Bits and Bobs

Bits and Bobs:

A collaborative show curated by Tegan Wallace

October 28 – November 28, 2016

Opening Reception Oct 28, 2016 6pm – 9pm

Often jewelry is created to celebrate and mark milestones in life. As part of marking her milestone of turning 40 jewelry artist Tegan Wallace invited a collection of artists to take a prototype or unfinished object from Tegan’s own work and breathe new life into them. 


One of the “bits”. Or is it a “bob”?

Seventeen artists were each given a “bit and bob” that had been an object originally created by Tegan and created a new art piece either using or inspired by their given “bit”.


Montana agate earrings by Lexi Lee

These Bits and Bobs will become reflections of what Tegan has achieved so far while celebrating the metal community that had given her so much and continues to influence her own artistic growth.


Detail of necklace by Jane Drucker


The show will be up through November 28, 2016 at Danaca Design during our regular gallery hours: Mon-Fri 11am-6pm and Sat 10am-6pm.

Come join us!

Ready for Valentine’s Day?

Rings by Veronica Eckhart and Tony Baker

You have your date, made dinner reservations, now there is just one last item to prepare for the perfect Valentine’s day…the perfect gift! Luckily we have you covered: jewelry, tools, and gift certificates for classes…we have great ideas no matter what your sweetie loves.


OMG! It's Valentine's Day! Ring by Rachel DeNys

OMG! It’s Valentine’s Day!
Ring by Rachel DeNys

Rings make a wonderful gift and we have a wide selection from traditional bands to one of a kind designs. How do you figure out a ring size for a gift without asking and spoiling the surprise? If you can sneak and get one of your sweeties rings trace both the inside and outside diameter of the ring on a piece of paper. Bring the ring tracing with you when you shop and we can help you figure out the size.

But if rings aren’t what you are looking for we have a wide selection of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings too!

Stacking Rings with Gemstone

Stacking Rings with Gemstone

But what if your sweetie isn’t as interested in getting jewelry as much as making jewelry? We offer beginner and intermediate jewelry classes such as our popular Beginning Intro: Rings and Stacking Rings With Gemstones classes. Our next Beginning Intro Rings class will be coming up in spring quarter, May 14-15, but we still have space available in our Stacking Rings with Gemstones class on March 26.

To see the rest of our class schedule go to www.danacadesign.com and to register either stop by or call us at 206-524-0916

Gift Certificate

Our gift certificates are just as pretty as a present

Still not sure? We offer gift certificates in all denominations that can be used on any jewelry, classes, or supplies. Perfect!


Danaca Design is a jewelry and small-scale metal working facility located in the University District of Seattle. We offer a wide range of classes for individuals seeking to gain skill in the art of decorative metal work and jewelry making.

Find us at 5619 University Way NE, Seattle 98105

or online at www.danacadesign.com

Meet Sarah Rachel Brown


We have recently started carrying some of Sarah Rachel Brown’s jewelry in our gallery at Danaca Design and it has been a big hit. We wanted to talk with Sarah and learn a little more about her and her work.


Circle earrings by Sarah Rachel Brown

How long have you been making Jewelry?

I’ve been working with metal since 2009.


Oval Earrings by Sarah Rachel Brown

What is your background? Is it in art, or something else?

I’ve always been artistic but I wasn’t drawn to visual art until I started working with metal. I studied classical vocal technique all throughout high school and into college but I lost interest at the collegiate level. I had the opportunity to work at my college’s alternative radio station where I created a position for myself as the Live/Local Music Director; I broadcasted bands playing live in studio and promoted live music locally. I eventually moved on to the being the station’s head music director until I stepped away from school to move to Seattle, WA in 2007. I’ve played in a couple of bands, most notably the Country Lips in Seattle, WA. The boys are still playing shows and I join them for a few songs whenever I’m back in the city.


Inclinations #2

What kind of imagery or inspiration do you use? Can you tell us about any recurring themes in your work?

I’m inspired by the materials I have on hand and available to me. When I first started in Seattle I was repurposing found objects into earrings. This stemmed from my lack of resources but in turn helped define my aesthetic at that time. I was fixated on old costume jewelry and eventually I realized it wasn’t the jewelry itself but the rhinestones that I was drawn to. The past few years my work has centered on the gemstone whether it’s the facade, or actual precious gemstones or rhinestones. I’ve experimented with burning the stones, exploding them, casting them in place, replicating them in other materials, which has all led me back to simply setting them.

I think about themes often and I just began a yearlong residency where one of my intentions is to dig deeper into the meaning or motivation as to why I’m making my current work. I keep going back to the financial struggles that plagued my mother when I was a child or my own struggles as a twenty-something woman trying to navigate a world where so much value is put on appearances and possessions. I get a lot of satisfaction out of buying used clothing and with a bit of sewing and accessorizing, making them look like a million bucks. The payoff is when someone asks me where I bought my dress and the shocked expression that comes over their face when I tell them a thrift store. Now I find and collect old rhinestones, and through skillful design and execution, take these cheap, glass stones and transform them into contemporary art jewelry. I enjoy instilling value into seemingly valueless objects.


Inclinations #2

What are your favorite materials to work with?

Currently, rhinestones have my heart. They affordable so I’m not afraid to experiment with them, they’re shape and cuts are timeless, and for me, they’re an example that beauty doesn’t have to be expensive. I use Sterling Silver for the majority of my adornment because it oxidizes to black so beautifully and plays nicely with most people’s skin.


Inclinations #1

Can you tell us about any memorable teachers from your past who have influenced what you are doing today?

I’ve been very fortunate to have some amazing women as mentors in my career thus far.

Meeting Sarah Loertscher in my first beginning metals class changed the trajectory of my life. I apprenticed under her for 3 years, she pushed me to attend Penland and apply for the Core Fellowship, and she’s still steering me towards opportunities to this day. I learned plenty from working beside her and it wasn’t just at the bench. She exposed me to the business aspects of being a production jeweler, she was upfront and honest about her struggles to make it as an artist, and she treated me (and still does) like family. She’s one of the hardest working people I know.

Through Sarah I met Tia Kramer with whom I worked with in Seattle for about a year and whose work ethic continues to impress me. She’s constantly evolving her studio practice and interdisciplinary work and it’s truly inspiring to watch someone’s success only push them harder. I have this theory that she must not sleep because I can’t explain how she has enough time to do what she does otherwise.

Tia and Sarah both helped me land a job with the blacksmith Erica Gordon of Steel Toe Studios. She allowed me to learn on the job and was patient with me as I learned, she helped me a tremendous amount with my application for the Core Program at Penland, and she’ll probably remain the only pregnant woman I have seen use a power hammer.

I recently returned to Seattle work alongside Aran Galligan. Aran was my last instructor at Penland as a Core Fellow. She’s business savvy so I jumped on the opportunity to learn from her for a few months and I helped solely with the business aspect of things. She was incredibly generous and offered me a place to live, a studio to use, and on top of it all, she took me on a boat ride.

There’s more I could name but I’ll stop here. Let’s just say I take John Cage’s ‘RULE FIVE: Be self-disciplined: this means finding someone wise or smart and choosing to follow them. To be disciplined is to follow in a good way. To be self-disciplined is to follow in a better way’ quite seriously.

Do you have a website we can share?

Of course!


I also document my process and experiences through my Instagram account:



Thanks Sarah! We look forward to seeing how your work develops and what you think up next.

Great Gifts for Grads

Congratulations class of 2015! Graduation time is finally here and if you are still looking for the perfect gift for your grad come see what we have in our gallery at Danaca Design:


Like this bronze owl necklace by Amanda Bristow:

Perfect for your wise owl

Perfect for your wise owl

Earrings by Erika Laureano (We have necklaces of hers that match the earrings too!):

photo 1

Earrings by Erika Laureano

Rings and more inspired by the sea:

photo 2


Can’t decide or not sure of your grads style? We have gift certificates too!


Come in and let us help you pick out the perfect gift.

Our gallery is open Mon-Fri from 11am-6pm and Sat from 10am-6pm.

Mother’s Day is May 10th!


Is there a mother in your life you’d like to recognize? She may be your own mother, the mother of your kids, or a friend’s mother who’s special to you?

Our gallery is full of great work right now and we just might have the perfect gift for the mother in your life. 

Use promo code MOMROCKS to get 10% off your gallery gift purchase until May 10th. 

For moms who would rather make than wear, we also have gift certificates which can be used towards any of our classes or tools.

Gift Certificate

The gallery is open Monday-Friday 11-6, and Saturday 10-6. Come visit and see if anything grabs your eye!

5619 University Way NE




Semi Annual Swap Meet this Sat!




Don’t miss our Jewelry and Supply Swap Meet Saturday, April 4th 

Tools, metal, beads, gemstones, weird stuff you didn’t know you needed! Buy, trade or pick up something for free from the free table!

There is no charge attend! 

Stop by anytime between 10am-2pm

Gallery Artist Tory Herford

Tory Herford, necklace

Tory Herford, necklace

Tory Herford is a regular part of the community here at Danaca Design. As a studio member she’s here working at the bench every week, and sells some of her jewelry in our gallery. 

We want to know more (and share with you!) about the artists behind the work in our gallery. So to continue this blog series we asked Tory if she’d answer some questions for us. 

twin stone rings  (Tory Herford)

Tory Herford, twin stone rings

How long have you been making Jewelry?

I’ve been tinkering around with it since about age 13. While my family were great lovers of art, none were visual artists or especially crafty. When I was about 20, I was asking around about family history and discovered that one Great Grandfather was a blacksmith/architectural iron craftsman. We still have some things that he made in the family!  My Great, Great Grandfather was a goldsmith and watchmaker. So, that explained my odd (to my family) obsession with metal and tools. I guess genes do pass down! I can really feel the ancestors speaking up on occasion. Its kind of spooky actually- sometimes I just know what some random tool will be good for when I’ve never seen or used it before (not to be confused with using the tool correctly or as intended, but it works!). The Ancestors didn’t know everything of course, so still plenty to learn!

cloud pendant  (Tory Herford)

Tory Herford, cloud pendant

orbit ring  (Tory Herford)

Tory Herford, orbit ring

What’s your background? Is it in art, or something else?

I’ve always been an “arty” person. I studied Fine Arts at Cornish and consider myself a “Reformed Printmaker”. While it was a good experience, I was just out of high school and I think I was really too young to be there. Fine Arts was probably not the best fit for me, and I drifted to Pratt on and off for various classes of interest- all of which involved metal. Being free from academic “programs” and allowed to study what I was directly curious about was really huge. I’m a big evangelist for non-traditional educational models like Danaca and Pratt.

I also sculpt and do Black & White photography. I’ll do one thing for a few years, and then discover another and do that for a while. Nothing is ever fully abandoned. I’ve been at it long enough now that I notice how one discipline informs or influences the other. The tonal contrasts from photography often influence texture and patina in my jewelry. Sculpting completely came out of nowhere, emerging quite suddenly about 10 years back. Working 3-D was something of an explosion and confetti pretty much came out of my head! Being responsible for that much surface area and how the light slid over it was quite a revelation. In spite of my related experience, this was metalsmithing “boot camp”. Both my design and metalworking skills leapt forward. And then back to my jewelry, which is sometimes sculptural and sometimes about line. Its all a big circle.

I’ve had various ongoing day jobs, which contributed to my house mortgage but not my artistic growth. We all know how that goes….

live oak infrared  (Tory Herford) adobe infrared (Tory Herford)

Is there anything in particular that you like about jewelry as a medium?

Modern society and weather require us to wear clothes, but jewelry is optional.  There is something both primal and intimate in the choosing of an ornament, -we wear it as much for ourselves as we do for others.  As a maker, I express my creativity in designing work, but I also get to participate in someone else expressing their individuality when they wear one of my pieces. There is a lovely continuity and connection in that. We can all enjoy a beautiful painting on the wall, but it’s not the same experience or exchange.

What are your favorite materials to work with, and why? 

I’ve mostly worked in silver and bronze- they are like butter and a joy to create with. I’ve tried some gold here and there but it literally didn’t want to work with me at all! I need more advice on how to come to harmony with it. I’ve recently dipped a toe in lapidary work, and it’s all I can do to not fully veer off in that direction! Commercial stones are getting much less inspiring to work with. And again- sculpting and line want to assert themselves.

rabbit  (Tory Herford)

Tory Herford, rabbit

Tory Herford, dove

Tory Herford, dove

I find that jewelers tend to have one part of the process they love best, for some it’s sawing, for others it’s soldering. Do you have a favorite part of the jewelry process?

I like finish work/polishing the best. This is where the piece wakes up and fully comes to life.

earrings with garnets  (Tory Herford)

Tory Herford, earrings with garnet

Tory Herford, infinity hoop earrings

Tory Herford, infinity hoop earrings

What kind of imagery or inspiration do you use? Or, can you tell us about any recurring themes in your work?

I’m a huge fan of antique Japanese decorative items. There is almost nothing more beautiful to me than their aesthetic. And the craftsmanship-OMG. Much of my work features references to nature and is meant to give the viewer a moment of tranquility or meditation. I also love Modernist/Scandinavian jewelry from the 1940’s-1960’s. These items often have great vitality, and a fantastic quality of line that is almost calligraphic. Its very playful and dynamic.

Tory Herford, cuff bracelet

Tory Herford, cuff bracelet





We have a variety of Tory’s jewelry here in the gallery. And if you like those twin stone rings up there near the top of this post, we usually have a selection of those to choose from. Stop in to see what Tory’s been making lately. We’re here Tues-Fri 10-6, Sat 11-6.



The Key Transformation, in the Gallery at Danaca Design Studio

Dana Key 3

Dana Cassara, Key Transformation

The Jewelry Challenge at Danaca Design is an on-going design and exhibition project.  Each artist is challenged to create a piece with a specific theme or object. The final projects are then exhibited in the Studio Gallery.  For this challenge, The Key Transformation, each artist received a key, the most boring pad-lock key imaginable, identical except for the ware. The results are remarkable.

Nancy Key 3

Nancy Hom, necklace detail

Nancy Key 1

Nancy Hom

The final pieces demonstrate an excellent range of metalsmithing possibilities as interpreted by a handful of diverse artists including students and seasoned smiths. They are very fun.

Lexi Lee

Lexi Lee

Rachael Key 1

Rachel De Nys

Suzy Key 1

Suzy Whitehead

Emily Key

Emily Hickman

Erika Key

Erika Laureano

Jillian Key

Jillian Tacher

Maggie Key 2

Maggie Thompson

Dana Cassara

Dana Cassara

The Key Transformation is on exhibit in the gallery through November 8, 2014. Come by and take a look, the variety is pretty awesome!

Gallery Hours: Tue-Fri 11-6, Sat 10-6

Danaca Design Studio

5619 University Way NE, Seattle, WA 98105



Melissa Cameron’s Pierced Steel


Melissa Cameron, Parallel Planes (RGB rings)

Melissa Cameron is one of our gallery artists here at Danaca Design. She brought us some lovely steel and enamel pieces recently. I have a pair of her steel and cable earrings and I really enjoy them! I’m looking forward to seeing her next batch of work. 

Here’s Melissa’s artist bio, from her website:

Melissa is an Australian-born artist jeweller who lives and works in Seattle, WA. She holds a MFA in jewellery and metalsmithing from Monash University and BA with honours in interior architecture from Curtin University. Her works are included in the collections of the National Gallery of Australia (Canberra), the Cheongju City Collection (South Korea) as well as the Arts Centre Melbourne (Australia), and her pieces have featured in the publications Jewel Book, Art Jewellery Today 3 andLark Books’ 500 Silver Jewelry Designs.

I asked her some questions as well. I loved reading through her thoughtful responses, and getting to peek into her history and process. 

How long have you been making Jewelry?

So I have two answers to that question, since I’ve only really been brave enough to call myself a jewellery artist after I went full-time upon graduating from my MFA program in 2009. But I began making jewellery in high school, (we don’t have middle school in Australia) so when I was in year 8 – or around 12 to 13 years old. We had a jewellery program there, that offered two courses in the basics; sawing, soldering, filing, roll printing, cleanup, polishing – I remember watching my friends sitting on the steps to the building, hands busy with wet-and-dry sandpaper. I also remember that I was really good at filing to ensure my rings looked seamless, and I liked a high polish on my work. Now not so much. So if you go with the high-school date, almost 25 years, off and on. But seriously? Five, or eight years including study, tops.

What’s your background? Is it in art, or something else?

I studied interior architecture at university, and I worked as a designer in commercial/retail design for the first years of my professional career. That’s where I became proficient at ArchiCAD and AutoCad, and that also gave me the free time and income to begin (or perhaps recommence) dabbling in making jewellery in my mid-twenties. I consequently don’t have an undergraduate degree in jewellery or metalsmithing, which effects how I work with materials, and indeed what materials I choose to work with.

Is there anything in particular that you like about jewelry as a medium?

It’s wearable and it’s in object form. I always find myself drawn to objects and space, things that are not available to the ‘flatter’ art forms. Jewellery works are required to be robust enough to wear, so just in terms of the structural requirements, jewellery has a lot of crossover with the design disciplines and architecture, which similarly have issues with human use and habitation, as well as external loads and forces like gravity.

This structural characteristic means that a jewellery work will generally outlive the owner, which to me is an appealing notion. While we might think we own it, we can only ever be the temporary custodian of a work, since jewellery is one of the few kinds of objects that is universally passed down. It makes me think hard about what it is that sparks the wearer’s – and a viewers – interest in a piece. What will be the most eye catching form for a work, and how long can and will an eye need to travel around it, in order to fully comprehend what it is, what it does and how it does it.

I realize that these thoughts lie outside the notions of sentimentality and preciousness – which I think often lie outside the purview of the maker in any case. We jewellery makers are artists, designers, general creative types, and our drive is to create because we are good at it and to that end we have been trained to take neophyte ideas and develop them and bring them into reality. We can make literally anything, so it’s worth considering what it really is we want to make, especially given the potential for the jewel to have a longer lifespan than the original owner/wearer. I think it’s important to consider what else the work speaks to (aside from jewellery concerns of beauty and adornment.) For example, what will the person who inherits think of it, and what will it say to them?

What are your favorite materials to work with, and why? 

I enjoy using recycled materials for what they can add to the narrative of a work, but in terms of the materials that suit my hands and working methods best, I think steel is a great material. I use miles of steel cable and I like saw piercing mild steel, and the clean grey sandblasted surface that stainless steel takes on. It’s a great material to work with enamel on too, and you can solder and weld it. And because it’s not too precious, you know your hard labored artwork is unlikely to be sold for the metal price 😉

I find that jewelers tend to have one part of the process they love best, for some it’s sawing, for others it’s soldering. Do you have a favorite part of the jewelry process?

I love saw piercing. I could do that for ever. But I have to drill so many holes in order to do it, and that bit I could do without! I also enjoy the research and design process in my work – seeing a good drawing print out ready to work from can be as rewarding as finally taking a saw blade to the line-work.

What kind of imagery or inspiration do you use? Or, can you tell us about any recurring themes in your work?

The imagery and motifs depend on the inspiration, though the incorporation of pattern is pretty constant. There was a lot of architecturally inspired early work that used the quatrefoil motif heavily, but I moved out of that phase as I tackled other themes. My works are becoming more narrative driven, and these narratives are gradually taking on subtle political themes, like feminism and the want of empathy that I am seeing in society – it seems that we have become more knowledgeable about one another, yet less caring. So the works are serving a narrative in the motifs they are using (to the point of becoming less pattern-based and more representational), and in the pattern structure – significant numbers in a narrative influence pattern iterations and their internal organisation.

I use a lot of exploded forms as they work well with the steel-cable facilitated layers that I like to build into the works. I enjoy crisp lines and strict geometry – especially symmetry and radial patterns – and while that effects the aesthetic, it’s not a theme. I can work without them too. They’re not a crutch, honest!


RayPowder Compact Radial Pattern + Powder Compact Void Pattern Clouds - One Design

Thank you Melissa!

We have some of Melissa’s work in the gallery right now. Come check it out!



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