Friday, June 29, 2012

guest post - david curoe

morning orbit

My name is Dave Curoe and I have a little shop on Etsy called DaddyDDesign.  My venture into jewellery design started when I fell in love with my wife, Megan.  I had never been in love before and shortly after I found myself wanting to express some kind of physical manifestation of the beauty I had recently incorporated in my life.  Corny I know, yes I am, she tells me all the time.  I tried a few things, painting, drawing and right about the time I started a machinist apprenticeship I gave jewellery a try.  I am naturally mechanically inclined and enjoy working with metals so this seemed like a good idea.  As the story goes there I was at my workshop, which was the balcony of a 17th floor apartment downtown Edmonton, experimenting with things like brass, steel, found objects, paper, etc.  I now have a proper workspace in my basement.

escher's bird

Since I started, my main focus was trying to find my unique style, something different than the myriad of other jewellery designers. I would have an idea, make it and almost before I could finish it I would have another idea and work on that.  Then something I thought was brilliant would flash in my mind and I would abandon everything and start on that.  Each idea I have seems to be completely unrelated to the previous one, and as such many of my pieces are all over the map design-wise.  I decided early on that I would not constrain my thought process and just let things flow naturally.  Sometimes designs would pop up out of nowhere, with no apparent influence, others would be inspired by very specific things.  I am greatly inspired by artists such as M.C. Escher, H.R. Giger, and others.  One day I was downtown and I looked up from below a building and saw how interesting the balconies appeared from the perspective of the street, that inspired me.  Random things like that.  I am inspired by patterns in nature, textures, science and math, science fiction, art deco and art nouveau, urban design, etc.  The list goes on and on.  One of my favourite influences is hip hop culture.

cadillac double ring

The Cadillac Double ring is a custom request piece that I made for a client who wanted to remember the car her grandfather drove, the 1976 Cadillac Eldorado.  This piece covers the entire span of four fingers when worn and is made of solid sterling silver.  This is a follow up to my first “grille double ring” which is a 1968 Chevrolet Impala, which I chose because of my affinity for lowrider car culture.   I love cars and automotive design and many of my pieces that relate to urban or hip hop culture use transportation as a subject, including bicycles.

wood grain texture pendant

The Wood Grain Texture pendant is an example of my exploration into science and shapes found in nature.  Organic and flowing, the elevated rifts on this pendant exaggerate the visual pattern of the grain, adding to the experience of the texture when handled and viewed.  This piece has also been interpreted as watermark texture and even a representation of outer space with the ripples being rings of a galaxy or nebula.  I found it immensely interesting how natural patterns repeat from the microscopic to the cosmic scale and how we each can interpret different things when these patterns are reduced to a texture.

swagger double ring

As an example of how my ideas may go on a serious tangent are the Acrylic Double Rings. Having recently upgraded a tabletop milling machine to computer control, I wanted to explore what other materials could be used to create jewellery.  After playing around a bit I discovered for myself that acrylic had great potential as a jewellery material.  While I know that acrylic had been used as a jewellery material for many years, I wanted to see if I could apply some of my more contemporary ideas to the medium.  After making the first ring, I loved the result.  Clear acrylic rings when polished have many very interesting qualities.  Perfectly polished they look like glass or crystal and sort of play tricks on the mind in the way they refract light and feel weightless.  I have much more experimenting to do with acrylic love that it’s a material unlike silver in every way.

acrylic ring

The name of my shop, DaddyDDesign, is often repeated in a curious way when people first hear it and I’m sure they wonder why that’s what I chose.  I can say confidently that “DaddyD” is my alter ego.  DaddyDDesign is a nostalgic homage to my past. It represents my search to figure out who I was when I was younger.  It mirrors my search to figure out my unique design style now.  I grew up in Clareview, north Edmonton, which is widely regarded as the “other side of the tracks” (it wasn’t that bad).  I do admit to doing things like tagging lame things on public property when I was young.  Its what I felt I had to do.  I was DaddyD.  Enough said about that.

three elements

I feel very fortunate to be able to have a little shop, and an internet presence to display my creations.  My hope is that I’ll continually improve my techniques, discover new ones, and push the line of what I think I can come up with just a bit further with each piece I make.  Thank you!

Dave Curoe

visit david here:
etsy - please note that dave is on vacation until july 9th, his shop will reopen then... in the meantime, look through his sold items!


Artisan Beads Plus said...

I must say that this post is one of my favorites. I love when people can really share personally since I know that we can all connect to that on some level. I, too, was a young teenager who loved a thrill being a bit mischievous. It's a good thing we grow up ;o) Your designs are fabulous and you certainly found a style(s) that is unique.... and.... I love the story about meeting your wife :o)

Julie Holmes said...

David, I loved reading your post. I have a son who is a mechanical engineer with the heart of a machinist. He recently purchased a mill and a lathe and when I watch him with them...I think he too has fallen in love. It is so interesting to see the male perspective of creativity, and I'm so glad you shared with us the story of falling in love and what inspires you. Your work is very talented.

Cynthia@Ornamental Style said...

Incredible work and a great story. My very favorite piece is the silver folded cuff. Like Julie says, it's interesting to see the male perspective to jewelry--especially jewelry for women.

mairedodd said...

thank you, david, so very much for being a guest here... there are so many things i love about your work - the different influences, the heart, the inquisitiveness... and in every medium, in each style, it is just so impressively executed... all the best to you -

Barbara said...

wonderful work David! Continue your path...your voice is truly unique and I love your process....

stacilouise said...

great post. I love too see the progression of your work, and how you were not afraid to just let it go whereever it needed to go.

Stacie said...

OMG! What a great post! I so get the tangents...and the different things that influence your work..there is nothing better then messing around with your tools to see what you can do, is there! Really love your work..your sense of humor and your style..what a treat!

Kelli said...

Love your work!!! And your story is wonderful. Keep on being corny, it works!! :)

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