California artist Daria Salus presents her lovely collection of handmade jewelry. She talks about her inspiration, technique and why she loves to wholesale.
ABI: How long have you been selling your work?
DS: I started my business back in 2002. At that point I was mostly doing Santa Cruz open studios, and working other jobs to pay the bills. About five years ago I made the transition to creating jewelry full time. At that point, I started doing several retail shows each year, and working to find more shops and galleries to carry my work.
ABI: What made you want to start to sell wholesale?
DS: I love the idea of having my work seen by people all over the country. My retail show schedule is very focused on Northern California, but I’ve met customers from all over who feel a connection to my work. Growing my wholesale business also allows me to spend more time in the studio or looking for inspiration, and less time traveling.
ABI: What was the hardest part of selling retail?
DS: While retail shows can be fun, the grind of setup and teardown takes a toll when the schedule is full. There is also so much unpredictability from show to show, and even from year to year in the same show. I am glad to be at the point now where I have a better feel for which events work best for me, but weather, booth location and other uncontrollable factors can make retail feel much more hot and cold.
ABI: You have a very cohesive collection. What inspires you?
DS: The short answer is nature, which is fairly obvious when you see my work. To be more specific, I am inspired by scenes in nature that seem to distill pure feelings and emotions, like serenity, strength, independence, joy, and even melancholy. My work has become more and more cohesive over the years, as I have focused more on concrete images, and integrated enamel and silver to depict those images. Almost all of my latest work comes from photos that my husband or I have taken ourselves on our outdoor adventures.
ABI: What is your technique?
DS: My work incorporates bas-taille enameling, photo-etching, forming and embossing techniques. I hand fabricate all of my pieces out of silver and copper sheet. As I said before, many of the images originally come from my husband’s or my own photographs.