Designer Spotlight: Diane Perry
A brief story of what you do and why you do it.
I have been crafting jewelry for 5 years, but I have been an artist and crafter for many, many years. I am self-taught and always looking to learn new techniques and materials. Simple, non-fussy lines and materials inspire me. The materials I work most with are copper, sterling silver, semi-precious stones/pearls, and Swarovski crystals. All the items I make are limited edition; only a few of the same pieces are made. I have recently started working with precious metal clay and love the flexibility of it.
How did you get into jewelry design?
I have always been involved in art or crafts but never considered jewelry design until 6 years ago when I couldn't find earrings I liked. I started tinkering with making what I wanted to wear and it evolved. Thanks to the resources of the internet, I was able to learn the ‘how-to's' and practice, practice, pratice the techniques to hone my skills.
What makes your collection unique?
I think the lack of a limited, single style makes it unique. Copper is the unifying element. I love working in it, whether it is metal clay, sheet copper or wire the color and the patinas you can achieve with both chemical and heat are limitless. In addition, the use of non-traditional techniques to jewelry making results in pieces that are unexpected. For both the Oscars and MTV Movie Awards gift lounges I made embossed pieces that I adapted from a scrapbooking technique. The results were one finish mimicked enameling so wel I had a hard time convincing a client it wasn't enamel or in a slightly different incarnbation a unique embossed patina.
What are your inspirations?
So many things get the juices flowing. Nature is one, but sometimes I just see something and it hits me how it could be applied to a piece of jewelry.
How are you making a difference in your life?
I love making things. The creative process is one of the most stimulating and satisfying. I spent most of my adult life as a scientist, educator, clinican and administrator–all very ‘left brain.' But the creation of something with your hands, while similar to scientific processes is also different in that the sole reason for creating it is because you can. No agendas, no constraints.
What's something unusual about you that makes you “you”?
I don't know if I have an ‘unusual' bone in my body, but I am the only me there is–as you would say about everyone. I do believe that each experience, however seemingly unrelated to what I am doing at this moment has contributed to the artisan I am today and how I view my art.
What's the biggest struggle in running your jewelry business like a business?
Getting my jewelry in front of as many people as possible because sales is all about the numbers. If no one sees your product, they cannot buy it.
Catcophony Wearable Art by Diane Perry grew from a desire to create jewelry with simple lines and timeless appeal. Catcophony, a play on cacophony, resulted from a love of cats and the inability to settle on only one technique for creating jewelry. The artisan uses both traditional and unconventional jewelry techniques to create wearable art from copper, silver, and brass.