Dana C. Fear is a studio metalsmith exploring emotional safety and connection through her line of kinetic jewelry.
Working primarily in sterling silver she utilizes refined fabrication techniques to execute the intricate and exact construction of her kinetic jewelry. Housed in geometric structures, the subtle, repetitive kinetic elements of sliding wires or teetering shapes are activated as the piece is explored in space. Wearing the jewelry is not a requirement for engagement but when the jewelry is in place on a body in motion an essential relationship between the jewelry and the body become apparent. As the jewelry fades into the background of consciousness on the body the kinetic elements produce a faithful and gentle tapping with the motion of the wearer, bringing awareness back into the relationship.
Her love for jewelry-making began in high school where she was introduced to the basics of fabrication and design. Her education continued at Ball State University where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metals in 2004. She also gained experience through apprenticing as a bench jeweler at a commercial jewelry store.
Dana’s kinetic line emerged in college as a solution to a casting assignment and evolved into a body of work for her senior show. Answering questions of where her inspiration and motivation came from was probably the most challenging part of her senior show, as she really had no idea. It wasn’t until over a decade later, with three kids, distance from her bench and discovering that she had been born, raised and married in a cult, that the answers to those questions started to become more obvious.
What Dana discovered about herself from her cult experience and preference for jewelry design was that her ability to seek perfection in the execution of her work was a result of the feeling that acceptance was conditional and based on her ability to perform. Dana found her self-worth in what she could do instead of who she was as a person. Emotional chaos is commonplace in cults and abusive relationships—the feeling of never knowing what to expect next, if you’ll be praised or punished. The repetitive and predictable geometric structure of her designs was a response to that feeling. Likewise, the kinetic elements were an answer to the feeling of being invisible and not mirrored. She essentially was creating jewelry that told her the necessary affirmations that were missing in her life, “You have value, you’re safe and I see you.”
Dana no longer seeks validation, comfort or identity from external sources and hopes that through continued exploration of her personal background she can provide a line of connection to others that are healing from traumatic experiences through her jewelry design.