dao jewelry

dao jewelry

For Love or Jewelry

This is the season when a girl's fancy turns to . . . jewelry!  Okay, I'm usually the type who likes new paints or a cookbook more than your typical Valentine's trinkets, but this year is different.  I blame my friend Danielle, who is our featured jewelry designer in our online shop.  These are my favorite of Danielle's new baubles for dao jewelry.  Rough hewn chunks of Washington Big Leaf Maple, salvaged from our workshop, become the textural focus of these sterling silver drop earrings.  The effect of this eclectic pairing of materials is elegant, sculptural, and eye-catching.  


Runner-up for my current favorite from dao jewelry:  the Pillar and Circle necklace. I'd rather have this hand-forged necklace than a box of truffles! 

Now a PSA from our sales department (aka yours truly):  


SALES PITCH: There are only a few days left to take advantage of our Free Shipping Offer! Place your order for dao jewelry or Piano Nobile textiles before Sunday, February 14, and we’ll ship it for free!

FINE PRINT: This offer applies to all jewelry and textiles; it excludes furniture and lighting. This offer applies to orders shipping to the US and Canada only using our standard ground service. For all other orders, normal shipping charges apply, but we are happy to offer free gift wrapping, even for furniture and lighting.

dao jewelry

Guest Blogger Danielle from dao jewelry: wood I? could I?

Fall always signals something new for me. Perhaps it stems from all those years of going 'back to school'. So it is at this time that I embark on new work for the coming season - blending wood with silver.

A walk in Central Park sparked this new direction when I stumbled upon a piece of tree bark that had been forced from its home following a wild thunderstorm. The natural variations in the grain and texture immediately brought to mind myriad sketches of organic and natural jewelry designs.

Having a somewhat limited knowledge of wood I began experimenting with a variety courtesy of my friends at Piano Nobile. They supplied me with the finest stock their Pacific Northwest forestry could offer. I gravitated toward the rich, bold Oregon Walnut to create what is now known as the wood frame earrings.

And the fun doesn't stop there - there are finishes to explore! So many, from oils to water based varnishes.
The learning has been fascinating. But what really amazes me is the process of executing my new wood jewelry designs. In making silver jewelry, so many tools and machines lend a dramatic hand in my creation process. Yet, in my work with wood, I relish the serenity in working with just a jeweler's saw and 220 grit sandpaper. The quiet duo takes me to a new place, just as I and nature intended.

dao jewelry, open studio, piano nobile home, piano nobile printshop

summer studio sale photos

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Click the image to see the slideshow!

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Piano Nobile in The Seattle Times Today

This little blurb follows an article in the Retail Report of the Business section about a local stationery printer that focuses on "feel-good cards, books, and journals".  Read it online.

And in case you missed it, here's a link to Ali Brownrigg's lovely article about Piano Nobile on her nwsource.com shopping blog, called Minding the Store. 

dao jewelry

april showers bring may flowers from dao jewelry

As I was shuffling around our products in the online stock room, I began to notice how many floral or plant-inspired pieces Danielle has designed over the past year.  The blossoming dogwood pin above, unfurls around a sparkling opal (Jessore Pin).  I love this piece:  it reminds me of the dogwood tree in my parents' front yard.  Here are a few more of my favs: the Tadau Pendant, Tadau Ring, and brand new Bouquet Pin.


Danielle uses sterling silver wire to create intricate vine-like earrings which remind me of the young pea plants that are just beginning to wrap around their trellises in my slap-dash container garden. These hoops are part trellis and part plant, don't you think? Indore Earrings, Sillod Earrings, Murree Earrings


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Introducing the Positivity Project

Danielle shared an idea with me, inspired by the sometimes scary, sometimes exhilarating times we live in:

“Let’s collaborate on a project that uses the plus sign as a symbol for positive thinking. You know, like ‘Yes We Can’! I want people to wear our pieces to help keep hopes up, even though things are kind of crazy right now. And I want them to share those high hopes with their community. And I want us to be a good example by donating to a good cause.”(I’m paraphrasing for brevity)

So we got to work, drawing and printing and tinkering until we made this new collection called the Positivity Project. Danielle created a group of lightly textured coin-sized medallions in sterling silver, punctuated by plus signs. These jangling baubles appear on a necklace and charm bracelet. The collection’s three rings cleverly display a plus sign on the base of the band, like a smiling secret.

I improvised a suite of individually hand-printed tote bags and organic cotton t-shirts. Printed over a grid of tiny, hand-drawn polka dots, the translucent plus signs move into formations that never quite repeat.

Our definition of positivity is printed inside of each shirt and bag; it is a three-part statement of community spirit:

1. the quality of being encouraging

2. an amount greater than zero

3. the state of being positive

My favorite part of developing this project was the discovery of Nest, a fantastic non-profit organization that supports women artists and artisans in developing nations as they launch their own craft-based businesses. Nest offers micro-loans and other business opportunities as a way to promote self-sufficient local economies and empower small business owners. Danielle and I were so excited to learn about this innovative service directed at artists across the globe. We are happy to announce that 5% of the retail price of each piece in the Positivity Project will be donated to Nest. Please visit Nest’s website to learn more!

It all started with the Bau Ring, one of our favorite pieces Danielle designed in 2008, and now it has grown to a whole collection that we are very pleased to share with you. Enjoy!