Artful Adornment




by Rebecca Falzano

Wearable works of art from Maine jewelry designers

Christine Hamilton – Daisy Dance, 2008, sterling silver brushed flowers and volcanic rock beads strung on silk, 16”

The pieces of jewelry on the following pages transcend ornamentation and stand alone as objects of fine art. Each artist approaches their craft in their own inimitable way. Christine Hamilton, for example, has a degree in sculpture, which is reflected in her strong, textured designs.

William Dunning and Patricia Daunis-Dunning of Daunis Fine Jewelry have sculptural and metalsmithing backgrounds, and they work to create pieces that complement the body. Using traditional goldsmith’s techniques, Patty Bolz’s jewelry is a fusion of contemporary and ancient styles. Largely inspired by nature, the works of Susan Bryant Caron are organic and take their cues from the earth. Finally, Stephani Briggs’s designs reference history and heritage, while taking inspiration from the materials themselves.

“Form, texture, and color meld as I bend, solder, and enamel. One-of-a-kind designs inspired by natural forms are the force behind my strong, yet classic, designs. I take exceptional delight in a branch, a bug, a tiny flower, the wind, or the sea; everything motivates me to create. I love color and texture and allow their interplay to join harmoniously in my work. I am thrilled that my sculptural training has evolved into creating jewelry as I continue to push my designs to new levels.”

For more Christine Hamilton: Gleason Fine Art, The Center for Maine Craft, Coco Vivo,


BriggsStephani Briggs – Maharani Tourmaline Neckpiece, 2007, pink tourmalines, pearls, and rainbow moonstone with hand-built 18k and 22k gold chain, 18”

“My view of a piece of jewelry is that it should transcend ornamentation and be able to stand alone as an object of fine art. It should reference its history and heritage as a class of personal and—in many cultures—ritual objects. I incorporate relevant narratives that intensify their personal and precious feeling for them by describing, visually, the particular aesthetic experience that inspired them. Inspiration is drawn from the natural world and travels. Other inspiration is from the materials themselves; the luminous yellow of high-karat gold and the beauty of unusual gemstones. I strive to make pieces of compelling artwork, but I keep a practical eye out so that the jewelry is perfectly crafted and wearable. My pieces are made in traditional ways using ancient techniques.”

For more Stephani Briggs:




Susan Bryant Caron – Twisted Pearls Cuff & Earrings, 2008, freshwater pearls, oxidized sterling silver wires, 3” (cuff diameter), 1.75” x 1”

“Twisted beads are free and organic, like a splashing ocean wave or sprawling tree branches. Tight, precisely wrapped beads emulate the intricate texture of a seashell or a pinecone. The natural beauty that surrounds us is a treasure. Using recycled metal and no solder in this work, I create fashionably green wearable art.”

For more Susan Bryant Caron:






William Dunning & Patricia Daunis-Dunning – Daunis Fine Jewelry –
Maine Beach Stone Necklace, 2006, cognac and champagne diamonds, beach stones, 18k gold, 0.75” x 20”

“We approach jewelry from our art background and see each piece as ‘site-specific’ sculpture complementing the precise place on the body on which it is worn. Our exceptional color sense with gemstones adds magic to 3D forms.”

For more Daunis Fine Jewelry:, Compliments Gallery, Center for Maine Craft, Edgecomb Potters Galleries









Patty Bolz – Turquoise Earrings, 2009, 22k gold set with Arizona turquoise and .10 ct. diamonds, 1” x 0.75” x 0.25”

My jewelry, often described as a stylistic blend of ancient and contemporary, is constructed in 18k and 22k gold using traditional goldsmithing techniques (including fusing, forming, soldering, engraving, etc.). I frequently incorporate colored stones and diamonds in my work, as well as nonprecious materials such as steel or slate.”

For more Patty Bolz:

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