Behind The Curtain
David and I met while working at the VA hospital in Maine in 2005, we married in 2008 and moved to Vermont in 2011. We bought a house on an old country road in rural Vermont in 2018 where there are no neighbors or streetlights; only the sounds of the babbling brook, birds, and an occasional tractor in the distance. Behind us is the state forest, and surrounding us is organic farmland and pastures.
Hi, I’m Dianne, a (mostly) self-taught metalsmith, enamelist and wanna-be photographer at Divella Designs. I began making jewelry in 2007 and with David’s encouragement and support, left my day job to devote myself to the business.
In my late twenties and thirties I was encouraged by two fabulous artistic women, each with their own creative passion to find what I love. Since then I've been involved in a variety of creative expressions before finding my own true passion working with metals, enamels and gemstones.
My studio is my happy place; a place where I can dream, experiment, learn and grow in my passion creating lasting treasures you'll be thrilled to wear and give. Each piece of jewelry is carefully handcrafted to last a lifetime and is forged, enameled and finished by hand.
Nature is a recurring theme in the jewelry I produce, and is where a big piece of my heart is. When walking in the woods adjacent to our property, I forage for materials not just to inspire, but to actually use in making the jewelry.
David is my husband, partner, and the man behind the curtain at Divella Designs. He’s not only made benches, shelves and miscellaneous other things for use in my studio, he’s also made wooden jewelry boxes and displays for the jewelry for some of the shops the jewelry is in.
While he is still working full time at the VA, David really enjoys time off to spend with family, working around the property, and creating in his wood shop.
Trimming the maple trees out back, he came across some spalted wood. Spalting is a form of coloration that takes place in the wood as a result of fungi making the zone lines you see here in this piece.
All of his pieces are made completely by hand and are finished with food grade finishes such as beeswax, butcher block wax and mineral oil.
We do our best at Divella Designs to use our natural resources responsibly and are always striving to do better, and that applies to our entire home, not just the studios.
Partnering with other US artisans and small businesses, we are able to ensure the materials & gems we use are sustainable and responsibly mined, cut and polished.
Our metals are fine silver, sterling silver, 23k-24k gold, copper, niobium (some ear wires) and 14k gold filled. We don’t use any gold or silver plated materials at Divella Designs.
In the Keum Boo pieces, the gold 24k pure gold, not filled or plated. An example of Keum Boo is shown below.
Why Gold Filled?
First, let me clear up any confusion about what gold filled actually means. Gold filled is not the same as gold plated. Gold filled metal in the US has literally 100 times more gold than gold plated. Using a combination of heat and pressure, the gold is bonded to a core of high-quality jewelers brass whereas gold plated metals can have cores of various base metals, including nickel. The bonding process in making gold filled metals allows for the metal to be textured, manipulated, and shaped without exposing the core below.
At Divella Designs we use 14/20 gold filled sheet and wire which means the karat purity of the gold used is 14 karat and the gold represents 1/20th of the total weight. You get the look and feel of pure gold without the heavy price tag. Because of the thick gold layer and the bonding process there are very few people who cannot wear gold filled jewelry. Gold filled metals are also recyclable as refineries are able to separate the gold from the brass so the gold can be recovered and is not wasted.
The wood for our jewelry is from our own maple, oak and pine trees; and the wood for the jewelry boxes and displays are from scraps of wood from other projects.
Niobium is hypoallergenic and a great alternative for anyone who is sensitive or allergic to other metals.
I use only artisan created lampwork beads when I use lampwork in my designs, most of which have come from Generations Lampwork and were custom made for me.