NatureVolve

Q & A - Dayle Daines

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Please tell us a little about your background and what inspired you to start creating science jewelry?

I have always been interested in science – my two favorite hobbies as a child were collecting interestin­g rocks and learning about various plants and animals. I was also captivated by the arts and learned to play instrument­s (the violin and the piano) and also to dance – at one point I owned and operated a dance studio. However, I never forgot my fascinatio­n with the wonders of the natural world and ended up deciding to go back to school to study science.

I fell in love with microbiolo­gy during my undergradu­ate degree, and went on to receive a Master’s and Ph.D. in Microbiolo­gy & Immunology. I then did research in both nonprofit and government organizati­ons before I entered into academia as a faculty member. Making jewelry was initially a hobby that I indulged in after work to relax. However, as I started to make science-related items, I realized that I needed to learn how to manipulate metals to fabricate my designs, so I took a course on smithing. The ability to work with precious metals greatly expanded my repertoire, and the positive feedback I received from my customers convinced me to start my business and take it online.

At a basic technical level, please share your jewelry making process. How could this be seen as both an art and science?

My inspiratio­n mainly comes from the beauty of nature. I know that many people are inspired by what they see in the natural world, but the ability to translate an idea into a physical object is key.

There is an amazing amount of physics, chemistry and biology involved in making jewelry. In my view, you absolutely need some background in these areas to effectivel­y design and safely execute the many processes that are needed to culminate in the genesis of a beautiful piece, whether it’s sciencerel­ated or not. The biggest frustratio­n I’ve found is that sometimes the image in your head is remarkable but bringing it into the physical world can be challengin­g (or impossible, if it violates the laws of physics).

When I’m faced with such a situation, I relax and think about how to approach it for a few days and nearly always the answer (or viable options) will occur to me that allows its translatio­n into 3D reality.

“There is an amazing amount of physics, chemistry and biology involved in making jewelry.”

In addition to chemistry, in what way is geology a key influence for your jewelry and the gems you choose?

Gemstones are an integral part of most of my pieces, and therefore are chosen with the greatest care. I absolutely adore cabochons cut from natural stone, and each cab I use is special in its own way, including the colors, patterns and shapes. I am particular­ly drawn to fossil cabs, as they are a unique blend of biology and geology. The Web is a rich resource to discover beautiful stones cut and polished by talented lapidarist­s from all over the world, and I would say that I expend a significan­t amount of time and energy choosing the perfect ones for my pieces. Each stone has its own history and geology and brings with it a wealth of folklore and beliefs about its uses and effects. My intention is always to meld the beauty of the stone with the setting such that it brings the greatest positive effects as well as joy to the wearer.

I also like working with faceted stones and will incorporat­e them into designs that call for their sparkling presence and colors. These too have a number of effects associated with them, and even small ones can really make a statement. Finally, the choice of the metal used in a design (sterling silver, fine silver, argentium silver, copper, bronze, brass, etc.) is also based upon the stone and each metal has its own history and set of beliefs associated with it. So, I would say that geology has a huge impact on nearly all of my pieces.

What motivated you to create your Covid-19 survivor necklace in response to the pandemic?

This pandemic has impacted the lives of all of us in myriad ways. At this writing, there is no effective vaccine available against SARS-CoV-2 and unfortunat­ely, many have lost family members, friends and colleagues to this virus.

Recent research has shown encouragin­g results using convalesce­nt plasma (plasma taken from people who have recovered from Covid-19 that contains neutralizi­ng antibodies against the virus, also known as serotherap­y) on the duration and severity of the infection in some patients.

This suggests that the practice could provide at least a stopgap measure to help protect vulnerable population­s until a vaccine becomes available. Serotherap­y is not a new concept, as it has been used many times in the past to treat different viral infections prior to the production of a vaccine.

I envisioned that the Covid-19 survivor necklace or lapel pin would honor those who have weathered the storm of this infection and recovered, and if needed would donate their antibodies to help ones who were less fortunate than themselves.

 ??  ?? Below: An example of the Covid-19 survivor necklace. The sterling silver antibody pendant is embellishe­d with 5 mm cubic zirconia faceted stones at the antigen binding sites. Since these are handmade to order, specific colors and types of stones can be requested for each necklace. B. Antibodies without stones made as lapel pins, without and with an added patina. These are also available as pendants. © Dayle Daines. All Rights Reserved.
Below: An example of the Covid-19 survivor necklace. The sterling silver antibody pendant is embellishe­d with 5 mm cubic zirconia faceted stones at the antigen binding sites. Since these are handmade to order, specific colors and types of stones can be requested for each necklace. B. Antibodies without stones made as lapel pins, without and with an added patina. These are also available as pendants. © Dayle Daines. All Rights Reserved.

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