I have been designing jewelry and costumes since I was little. I fondly remember my Halloween costume from the 6th grade. I was a blonde Greek goddess draped in a pink satin toga. Not exactly traditional. My toga was accessorized by a huge iridescent blue and fuchsia glass brooch. It was designed by Schiaparelli, a famous mid century fashion designer. That brooch was amazing! It was my grandmother's and she had quite the collection of designer costume jewelry. I think she had a big influence on my taste in fashion, especially the jewelry! A self-taught artist, I have been making jewelry since I was twelve years old. My first paid job was at age seventeen designing beaded copper wrapped crystal pendants. Hey, it was the 80's, what can I say! I have been experimenting with clay, beads, wire wrapping and metal folding for over 30 years. I do periodically stray from designing only jewelry and dabble with textiles.
MY RANGE OF WORK
For me, creating is exploring, being adventurous and curious with an intent on producing something pleasing to the eye. That attitude has led me to a lot of experimentation. I have designed Tudor and Elizabethan costumes, quilts, knitted garments and accessories, and created recycled cashmere coats. I was featured on a program called “That’s Clever” on HGTV where I demonstrated how to knit, felt, and embellish a purse with jewels. This led to me teaching knitting classes for a few years. However, I always end up returning to creating jewelry and my favorite material to work with is metal. I also happen to be a collector of antique and vintage jewelry and you will see almost all of my work is influenced by designs from multiple eras ranging from Victorian to Mid-Century modern. Once again I have my grandmother's influence to thank for this passion.
CELEBRATING 12 YEARS of JEWELRY
I am now celebrating the 12th year of my jewelry business, Dania De Bortoli Designs. The saying “necessity is the mother of invention” fits my life experience. My business was born out of the need to have flexible hours to take care of my son with Autism. Over the years, my business has ebbed and flowed in size depending on the economy or my son's needs. My son has always come first. During this journey, I discovered I prefer to create one-of-a-kind or small batch designs versus large production. It allows me to keep fresh, quickly change direction, and create more intricate and detailed work. Although I continue to make plenty of clean, simple, designs, I am embracing more complicated ideas and exploring them in-depth. I really enjoy creating ornate large statement pieces with bold, intense, and sometimes edgy designs.
I am happiest when I can combine my love for creating jewelry with philanthropic needs. I enjoy setting up charity trunk shows and donating a portion of my profits to charities. I also love teaching others and offer jewelry design parties.
All the jewelry on my website is either a one-of-a-kind piece or very limited production. I use high quality materials and my jewelry is nickel free, which means less chance of allergic reactions. My metal components are made in the US, I use only Czech glass, and my semi-precious stones are sourced from all over the world. In fact many of elements I use in my pieces are either vintage themselves or are cast from molds a century old.