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...jen o'connor's...Artful Adventures & Daily Inspirations

I Love Art, Adore the Handmade and Treasure the Vintage. I am the Fun Mom, the Silly Friend and the Writer who wants to make more room for beauty in the everyday.

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Saturday, June 2, 2007

...the wrong door







































































Sometimes, the wrong door opens and fate invites you to step inside. My friend Dara would tell you to dare...let me tell you about the time I did...
I should have met her earlier that day...but the hours flew by at Artful Fest 2006...and each time I approached the table laden with Dara DiMagno's treasures I found myself facing a throng or being called away on some task...I ended the day feeling as if I had missed something great.


But just minutes before the day actually surrendered to it's successor, I found myself wandering the halls of the hotel trying to find Laurie Meseroll's room. Ahh.... there it was, I knocked, but Laurie didn't answer...instead, there was Dara....it was almost midnight but no, I wasn't shopped out, and since I had roused this artist not from sleep, but just bad late night tv I thought I would be brazen...

..I told her who I was and that I had missed her at the show...had she sold out? ....was there a chance I might see what she still had for sale? She had three necklaces left, I bought two...and the third tempted me! Moments later I was already in love with the texture, the feel and the layers of humor, wisdom and character imbued in her work. I left to find Laurie's room which I did...a jumble of Dara's room number a few doors away...
As if that wasn't enough of a message, the next morning ...nursing baby on New York time in tow, I wandered into the hotel cafe just after 6am...of course I was wearing one of my new necklaces...and who alone was in the cafe...yes, Dara!


I considered this divine intervention ...so I sat myself across from her and over breakfast we hatched a plan to work together. I wanted to garner some attention for her wearable art...I knew it needed to be seen, worn and celebrated beyond her West Virginia studio.

Dara dares to knock at the door of whimsy and mystery with a brave and seasoned hand....her view of things is sweetly tainted with living, with intellect and a love of the written word. She hears more than a different drummer, perhaps a whole different band playing for her...she captures what she sees and hears and catapults these sentiments into jewelry. Her hands know how to work metal, snip magic from old books and see stories in the faces form old photographs.

Using all vintage objects and original images, Dara creates one of a kind art collages with a balance and proportion that is divine. She is a master of structure and can maneuver metal to host her nuggets of songs, the wee words she adores and her daring sense of humor. The results are utterly fantastic, going far beyond the moniker of jewelry. She bravely asks us to celebrate the everyday by elevating castoff treasures and calling attention to tidbits of memories.
Each of her necklaces and bracelets are kaleidoscopes of vintage metal, found objects and forgotten faces. Dara finds beauty worth sharing in old silver utensils, odd findings, scraps from long-ago played games, tin types and old photos, steel cut Victorian buttons, Bakelite charms and baubles galore. She unties these disparate objects as the inanimate ingredients of her work. She melds them into new life under her drills. They emerge as charming stories, fancifully adorned with words and images.


She is sentimental, smart and very spunky…I admire her. Her work is a true reflection of her spirit and talent. So I wear one of her necklaces almost daily and remind myself to knock bravely at each door...one never knows what treasures are in store...


Cheers to all who wear her work...Debbee, Carolyn, Linda, Janet and Dana (the California Girls)...and Dawn and Ro too, you are exceptional models! It is wonderful that we share an affection for Dara and her work!
xxoo Jen O'Connor
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16 comments:

oldflowers4me said...

oooohhhh- thanyou for showing us all your photos- dara dimagno's jewellery is somethig that i would just love to have , you know what i like about her work- she just does her own thing and thats the hardest thing to do- fantastic- hop skip and jump....love jo...

diane allison-stroud said...

her pieces are so wonderful, you can tell each piece carries dara with it, a mix of the past and the present. and some things are meant to be, i remember seeing your wonderful ad in m. e. and calling you, and what a wonderful day that was for me!

Dara said...

Jen,
WOW!!!! I smiled, laughed out loud, and cried!!! I am so overwhelmed !!! Your kind and thoughtful words mean so much to me!! Thank you!! Thank you!!!
Love,
Dara

Dara's mom who ran out of space to write more! said...

Thank you for recognizing Dara's talent. Sometimes we wondered about all the "stuff" she collected and accumulated (she may have wondered the same thing when she moved it all last summer!) Dara is doing what she loves to do when she creates her jewelry. She is an extremely hard worker - an elementary school librarian and mother of 2 children and (recently) 2 dogs.) She often forfeits sleep to get to her basement workroom.

Diane Duda said...

Jen, you sure have a way of stringing the perfect words together to describe these women. I know that you are inspired by their talent, but you have a way with words that is a talent in itself.

Her jewelry is lovely as are the words you use to describe it!

Di

Dakota said...

Great Job Mom! I'm so proud of you! Spencer and I are lucky to have such a wonderful,caring and loving, nice, creative mom. I love your art just about as much as you do. I always wish you the best of luck on your jewelery. I love you so much Mom!
Love,
Dakota

Rosanne said...

Like everything else....I can't get enough of Dara's necklaces or bracelets. I wear one almost every day to work and always get the question..."Who is that a picture of". I used to say oh I don't know but I have given up saying that and make up some interesting story about the woman on my necklace. Dara is extremely creative and such a wonderful person. Can't wait for our next time together!

Rochambeau said...

What a great story! It's incredible how you two met. It was meant to be.
Dara's work is lovely.

FrostingsNSparkles said...

Great stuff, lovely photos, and an enchanting yarn to boot. I am giggling like crazy @ Roseanne making up stories about the people in the pictures *heehee*

Anonymous said...

I love this blog! It showcases Dara's work so beautifully. I am proud to show it off!

Love,
Tamara

Lori said...

these are quite lovely!! i esp. love the one with the butterfly wings~divine!!

Michelle said...

Your words shout joy and passion from your heart! I am thrilled everytime I visit this blog. It is inspiring and heartwarming all in the same breath. Thank you for sharing!

Many Blessings,
Michelle Sylvia
The Blackberry Briar

heidi said...

hi jen - what a fabulous show and so many wonderful artists! please add me to any list - i'd love to attend (and i just happen to have relatives in warwick!)

Debbee Thibault said...

Dara' work is very precious! Her jewelry reflects the person that she is. I own a number of Dara's lovely jewels and each piece tells a tale. Her Art truly inspire me!

A Big X.O. to you Dara,
Debbee Thibault

Jen - Earth Angels said...

from DEBBEE THIBAULT...

Dara's work is precious to me! her Jewery is reflective of who she is.I own a number of her wonderful pieces and each has a tale to tell.Her work inspires me! X's and O's from Debbee Thibault

Jen - Earth Angels said...

from DEBBEE THIBAULT...

Dara's work is precious to me! her Jewery is reflective of who she is.I own a number of her wonderful pieces and each has a tale to tell.Her work inspires me! X's and O's from Debbee Thibault

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