Diana Dunk, Jewelry Designer, FosilArt

Diana Dunk [@didunk] is a jewelry designer from Mount Aukum, California by way of Bali, Indonesia. Her beadwork accompanies pendants designed by her husband Ed for their line, Fosilart.

"I come from an appreciation for my ancestors. My background in my country is tight about that so I grew up with that culture. In Indonesia, they have studies for Ikat style fabrics — same like in Japan, Africa, India — so I studied the process of the fabric design, from patterns to the actual design. Then we put it back into use as interior fabrics or as clothing. I think the color of the beads that I use have a connection to native peoples. We’re bringing out the old pieces like harpoons and putting them into something people can wear.

Most of the beads that we use are old beads created by people. So the beads are talking about China, or India, or Bali. They talk about the source. For example: turquoise. How many layers of turquoise are down there [in the earth]?It’s a lot of talk, a lot of hand passing, so you know — it’s alive. They’re talking because they’re alive.

Let’s say I haven’t done beading for two days, and we have to work on new items. I start from a very simple one, and all of a sudden that brings me back into a formula that I can play on. So the process is that I may make two or three simple necklaces, and after that it’s just like wooooah. I give myself three days of work, then one day off. Otherwise it starts to be too much. Sometimes [my husband] Ed comes to me and says, ‘We need to make big ones!’ A signature one, we call it. Then it becomes more fun because I’m already in a stage of knowing what I’m gonna bead. And it takes a lot to keep looking at what you have. Same thing as when you meditate — you see your potential, your state of mind at the time, and what else you can bring into it. I think, 'What size of turquoise do I have? Or maybe I have some coral… beautiful beads!' I know everything that’s in here because I’m the one who put it all in its place.

When I am in [the studio], in focus in such a small area, in my little corner with my canvas, I can do everything. It’s like a sandbox. It’s the same thing as cooking, or creating a painting. You see color, elements, shape, and you just put it together. So you can imagine — sometimes I don’t move from this chair for three hours, because I’m going into like, ‘Yeah! This color! This range of color!’ So that’s why I call it meditation for me: a state of mind. It’s like driving on a highway and nobody’s there. You just drive. Beautiful views along an ocean. And you just… Ptchoooo! *rocket sounds*"

– as told to Gooey Girl