Meet Artisan Goldsmith, Dianna Badalament.
Dianna professes, "Ancients myth's divine characters, symbolism and personification of nature her endless muses. Each of Dianna's collections is named after deities of Ancient Roman and Greek mythologies. Dianna says, "Inspiration for the jewelry comes from all aspects of nature, ancient stories, foreign lands, rock and roll and the gritty cities."
Dianna grew up in Long Island, New York. Some of her earliest memories were beachcombing and making talismans from these ocean treasures. She's also inspired by the thrill seeking adventures to the various havens and haunts of New York City.
After receiving her B.A. from the University of Albany, New York Dianna studied classical metalsmithing techniques at the Jewelry Arts Institute in New York as well as completing the Jewelry Technician Intensive Program at Revere Academy of the Jewelry Arts in San Francisco. Dianna worked at the Kristin Hanson Studio in Brooklyn, NY where she was a studio assistant and instructor. Currently, Dianna resides in beautiful Northern California continuing to live her dreams.
Tell us about the what it means to have a green metalworking studio.
Having a greener studio means making more environmentally friendly choices where ever you can, and, in all aspects of the business. I try and use recycled metals where ever possible and this includes recycling all my scrap metal. I use fair trade and conflict-free gemstones and I use less toxic chemicals in the studio: citric pickle, baking soda and Simple Green, for instance, instead of much harsher counterparts. I use recycled packing for shipping and my boxes are made of 100% recycled paper. I also follow Ethical Metalsmiths and the No Dirty Gold Campaign, as well as, the Green Jewelry Newsletter which always has new great tips on greening my studio.
Since you've named you pieces after ancient Greek Gods and Goddesses. which is your favorite?
Well, Diana, of course. Actually, I started reading Greek myths at young age and Artemis is the Greek counterpart of Diana. I loved the personification of all the natural elements of the world and the fact that even in ancient times people felt nature to be so awe-inspiring that it essentially had to be deified. Artemis/Diana was the powerful, moon goddess and archer who was content to follow her passions and didn’t need to be defined by what man or husband she was linked to, a rarity for mythology and ancient times. I also have to give a nod to Vulcan, the god of fire and smithery. He created various jewelry, thrones and armor for the gods of Mt. Olympus and even forged Zeus’ thunderbolts.
So has nature always been an inspirations to you?
Yes, always. I grew up in a little, beach town and loved everything beach related from a very young age, especially beachcombing. I always thought the most amazing things washed up on the shores. I’d make a point to look for scallop shells with little holes at the base for ready- made natural, jewelry. But, all nature is an inspiration to me; animals, celestial bodies, thunderstorms, trees and plants to name a few.
What's your favorite book?
I love books on all topics and I’m pretty often wowed at the way they guide you to an alternate perspective or a learning experience. That being said, I’ll have to go with the classic “Giving Tree”by Shel Silverstein. It’s simple, elegant, always relevant and always moving.
Has your work changed since the you moved to California?
My work is constantly evolving and I always want to pursue new designs, techniques and ideas. I think the inspiration to draw from is vast in California because you have such diverse elements, rocky mountains, beach, wine country and redwood forests all so close and accessible.
What is your favorite piece of jewelry that you own that is not yours?
I actually have a lot of those! Most are from loved ones or I bought the piece at a time I wanted to mark or remember. Every piece has a story. My favorite is a silver bracelet made from domed Australian coins. My grandfather bought it for my grandmother when he was stationed in the Pacific during WWII. I never met him so I cherish this bracelet I inherited; it makes me think of John and Elizabeth, their story and their true love.
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