Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dank Artistry: An Interview with Spoon Jeweler, Dan Kemp

I have had a passion for spoon rings and spoon jewelry since my dear aunt Isabella gave me an old spoon ring she had owned back in the 1970's.  Suddenly I was in love with silverware and patterns.  My personal favorite pattern is the Charter Oak, but I have developed a love for spoon jewelry with roses and those with Art Nouveau patterns. Because of the multitude of patterns out there, there is a diverse array of looks and styles from a very Victorian look to a very modern Gothic look. I think it's a very unique and affordable way to create a really cool and fashionable look!

Today I have my interview with Dan Kemp, the talented spoon jeweler of  Dank Artistry. I am in love with his unique collection of patterns and the heirloom quality jewelry he creates from them. Now let's meet Dan!


"How did you become interested in creating spoon jewelry?"


It came about sort of organically. After quitting my job I started making a bunch of stuff to sell. I originally thought I was going to make a business of sewing and selling pants. Pants were hard to sell because there are so many different sizing options. I started to make jewelry to sell as well. I was melting down spoons to make organically shaped pendants. I found a few spoons with some really cool designs and made them into crude spoon rings. They sold much better than anything else I was making at the time so I just kept making them!

Dan Kemp

"What is the most unique piece of spoon jewelry you have created in terms of your design?"

I think my spoon and fork sculptures are the most unique. I am fascinated by insects and flowers, and have made a few models of insects out of spoons that have turned out great. I don't sell those online, they are something I do to exercise my creativity.
Spoon Insect by Dank Kemp
 
"Do you have a favorite pattern or one you consider the most coveted to find?"

That's like asking me to pick my favorite child! I love the Art Nouveau period patterns from 1900 - 1910. I collect Watson's and Wallace's floral series teaspoons just for fun.


"What do you remember about your very first customer and sale?"

When began I was selling my jewelry and art at a small craft market in a tiny town, I sold a few things to friends at the sales first. The first thing I really sold to someone I didn't know, (or who wasn't a friend of a friend) was a spoon ring. I remember thinking that perhaps I really would be able to make it in my own business. At that time I was really poor, making just enough to pay my bills.

 
"Apart from designing stunning spoon and silverware jewelry, what else do you enjoy doing?"

My wife and I spend a lot of time with our friends laughing. I have an addiction to rex begonias and live bearing fish. I also have a big collection of instruments I like to practice and learn to play. Last year I decided I wanted to become financially literate, so I spend a lot of time learning about money.


"What handmade possession do you personally cherish the most?"

On our wedding day my mom presented my wife and I with a painting of us finger painting together as children. It's a beautiful painting she made. It's kind of humorous because when I was the age I am in the painting, my wife was still in diapers. My wife's hand in the painting is taken from a picture of my brother's hand in a photo from when we were kids. It's quirky, strange, and funny if you know the story behind the painting. Once everyone involved is dead it will be a wonderful heirloom:)

 
 "What music do you listen to while you create your pieces?"

I listen to Folk music from:  folkalley.com

Dan Kemp in his studio workshop



"Where can we find your beautiful jewelry?"

www.facebook.com/DankArt
www.dankartistry.etsy.com
www.artfire.com/ext/shop/studio/DankArtistry
www.dankartistry.com

Thank you, Dan!
**All photos courtesy of and copyright of Dan Kemp and Dank Artistry.

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