Pretty Personal with Diana James

Fans of sculpture, 80s video games, and geometry, rejoice! Dor&kie Jewellery Objects has managed to take all three and combine them into a range of wood-based jewellery that’s both chic and unique. We found out the story behind the name, and more.

  1. Hello Diana! Tell us a little about yourself. 

    I’ve always had a love for art, but I felt that my natural talent wasn’t good enough to pursue a career as an artist, so I ended up studying Jewellery Design and Manufacture at CPUT, mostly due to my fascination with the detail of everyday things and the “small scale” world.

  2. And what led you to use wood as a primary medium?

    Dor&kie happened by chance - we were moving house, and ended up building a lot at our new house, so my jewelry workshop/tools were in storage for a long time.  To keep myself busy I started experimenting in the space available to me, which was a woodworking workshop, and just fell in love with wood and its potential as a sculptural material; and being a jeweler I started using it in my work.

    The name dor&kie references a lot of things: firstly a door and a key, and since I’m a total dork and a Afrikaner, I’ve decided to use only one “o” for door to reference ‘dork’, and the Afrikaans “kie” instead of the English “Co” for company.

  3. Hahahahaha! That’s certainly an original name! Your pieces are also very distinctive - tell us about them?

    My favourite pieces to make are the rings.  I try something different with every ring, and doesn’t matter how much I design and sketch before hand, the final piece is always a surprise. I’ve recently started working with Polymer clay, to add some colour to my pieces, and I’m also trying to incorporate more metal.

  4. You decided to use wood as a material after spending time in the workshop you mentioned - what influenced the decision to use geometric shapes?

    As a jeweler, inspiration can come from a broad range of things, such as nature, fashion, architecture etc. Mostly my work resembles geometric structures that reference the field of gemology and the of cutting stones.  So in a way my work references a field parallel to jewellery, but by using wood it changes the quality of the overall piece.  Gemology focuses on obtaining the most brilliance from a stone by cutting it into facets to ‘capture’ the light entering the stone, but by replicating these facets in wood the piece becomes sculptural - not adding a function to the material used, but a general sculptural look and feel.

  5. What’s your favourite thing about doing what you do?

    Pushing the boundaries of the material I’m using, and also my capabilities as a manufacturer/craftsperson.  I love exploring the relationship of jewellery and how it fits and interacts with the body.  This aspect of jewellery is another reason why I love using wood in my work.  Wood is soft on the skin compared to cold hard metal and due to its weight, I can play around with the scale of my pieces.

I have a dor&kie pendant myself, and it’s one of my favourite things. You can get your new favourite thing in the dor&kie Hello Pretty store, and get in touch on Facebook and Twitter. And, if you check back here on Monday, we might just have a little something to give away…

Posted by Adeline on 15 Nov 2013

Media old and new. Weak jokes, strong coffee, and the Oxford comma. Cheese, both literal and cultural. Cowbell. Amateur photography. Professional nitpickery.