As social creatures we thrive on connection but in order to genuinely connect with others we must first be connected to ourselves. I make sophisticated fidget jewelry designed to be both intentionally interactive and organically responsive to the natural movements of the wearer—connecting function, design and response to a body in motion.
It was during my undergraduate studies when I began to make my kinetic jewelry, completely unaware at the time of why I felt compelled to do so. Time, experience and curiosity about my childhood experiences and family history and how they influenced my life decisions, led me to some uncomfortable and painful truths. These truths helped me realize that, as is common with most creative endeavors, making my jewelry was a form of therapy.
Appearing on the outside to be well organized and put together, the truth was that my life was ruled by chaos and confusion. Creating jewelry with a repetitive and predictable structure that was also playfully unexpected and delightful was my way of bringing into the world what I lacked internally and, therefore, in my interpersonal relationships. After spending over a decade after graduation prioritizing everything and everyone over myself, I got reacquainted with my bench and jewelry. I found that what I gained from my time at the bench—peace, calm, satisfaction and connection with myself, was translating directly into the experience of those that wore the jewelry that I made.
Life is full of stressors, anxiety and complicated relationships. The sliding, teetering and spinning motions incorporated into my jewelry and the resulting soothing sound of metal against metal through those motions creates the opportunity for centering and connection with oneself right on the body. Some pieces require intentional manipulation but many only require the organic and spontaneous movements of the wearer. As the shifts in the kinetic elements take place, they produce a visual and audible response that can be calming, meditative and grounding to the wearer.
Dana C. Fear’s passion for jewelry making began in high school and continued through college where she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metals from Ball State University in 2004. After getting side-tracked for a little over ten years as a stay-at-home-mom, she realized being at her bench was essential to her wellbeing and happiness and began to pursue her career as a metalsmith producing her own unique style of kinetic contemporary jewelry. She lives in rural and scenic lower northern Michigan with her three kids where she works out of her combined studio and store in the quaint downtown of Cedar.