Cedar, Michigan
| 498 Sales | 5 out of 5 stars 5 out of 5 stars

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Dana Fear

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Dana Fear


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About DanaCFear

Sales 498
On Etsy since 2017

Metalsmith Creating Handmade Kinetic Jewelry

I started making jewelry when I was in high school and quickly became a fixture of the studio. I enjoyed it so much I made it the focus of my higher education. In 2004 I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metals from Ball State University in Muncie, IN. I've been through a lot of life transitions since then, which resulted in setting my passion aside for nearly a decade. I'm now happy to be settled in rural and scenic northern Michigan with my three young children and two cats, handcrafting original pieces of interactive contemporary art jewelry. When I'm not in the studio or being "mom" you'll find me at the beach, hiking one of the many beautiful area trails (I even made one of my own from my backdoor to Lake Michigan as a pandemic activity!) or rowing in my single alongside, but at least six feet apart from, my rowing friends.


As social creatures we thrive on connection, so feeling invisible can cause an immense amount of stress and anxiety. New science suggests there are neurons in the brain that help contribute to a feeling of harmony with one another. When these are inhibited, which can be caused by exposure to trauma, it can lead to a lack of connection which, at best, can be uncomfortable and, at worst, can cause more trauma. When we are seen, loved and accepted for our true selves we feel safe, secure and at peace in the world, which then leads to more connection with others.

It took a considerable amount of time for me to discover that my kinetic jewelry, when I first started making it in college in the early 2000’s, was the subconscious manifestation of feeling invisible in an intimate relationship. It felt emotionally unsafe, erratic and inconsistent even though on the surface it appeared to be ideal. The roller coaster of emotions was so unpredictable and confusing that I developed an intense need to control as much about my life as possible to help counter the feeling of always being on edge. When a college casting assignment required the production of a piece of jewelry utilizing repeating elements, this opened the door to the beginning of a line of work that would provide a sense of what I was missing in the relationship and an outlet for my urge to control.

A successfully executed, structurally complex bracelet would bring me a satisfying calm and sense of rightness in the world. The geometric organization brought feelings of safety and security and the repeating elements provided predictability and consistency. Kinetic elements that flipped, slid or teetered allowed the piece to be playful and surprising in the most pleasant way and brought about an intentional relationship between myself and the jewelry. Repetition incorporated into the movement also proved that it was in response to me and my own actions and not by accident or happenstance. It was intentional and personal and didn’t require anything of me except to simply participate. There was absolutely no question about my role in the relationship to the work—I moved; jewelry responded. And likewise, I enhanced the piece by wearing it on my body in motion, revealing all aspects of the design. Unknowingly to me, I was creating in jewelry what I was lacking in my personal relationship—something playful with structure, active and mutually beneficial.

Eventually, I learned to provide for myself what was missing in that intimate relationship and it came to an end. With that end came a better understanding of my work and a joy in creating a style of jewelry that is both sophisticated and playful, exact and carefree and one where both consistently benefit. But most importantly, my kinetic jewelry provides a relationship that constantly says, “I see you.”

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