Being the youngest artist at the River Canyon Gallery in Bailey is just the beginning of wire-wrapping jewelry artist Dane Kassery's journey as a creator.
Starting at the onset of the pandemic while he was learning remotely in high school, Kassery, now 18, is completely self-taught from YouTube videos. He originally became interested in the craft after seeing a friend of his brother's making wire-wrapped jewelry.
Wire wrapping is one of the oldest techniques for jewelry making. It involves wrapping wire in intricate shapes or components, often around stones, with no heating or soldering of the wire.
Kassery says this is the first of his artistic endeavors.
“I wasn't an artist at all before I started wire wrapping,” he said.
But Kassery thinks the craft has given him a new appreciation for different art forms, at which he has started trying his hand.
When working with different materials, Kassery says sometimes he finds himself drawn to certain things during the process.
“My birthstone is aquamarine, and I always find it's so much easier to work with a stone that I have a connection with,” he said.
Kassery's mom, Heidie, is one of his biggest supporters. She was not surprised when he picked up wire and started creating.
“Ever since he was a young kid, he's been very active with his hands,” she said. “My dad was a watchmaker from Germany. (Dane's) grandfather on his father's side was a silversmith.”
Coming from a line of craftsmen, Dane has jewelry-making in his blood. What really sets him apart though, according to Heidie, is his drive.
“He's not afraid to try new things. There's a constant curiosity there,” she said.
Right now, Dane is taking things as they come with his jewelry. He has been selling at numerous craft and holiday shows, and he has pieces for sale in the River Canyon Gallery and at A Borgata in Conifer.
Dane also does business and networking through his Instagram account, which Heidie says has created a community for him.
“He's finding people that share the same passion,” she said.
At the start of the new year, Dane has plans to get a website going and really dive into things. On the horizon, he has goals he'd like to achieve with his jewelry.
“I'd love to be able to make my own chains at some point,” he said.
With his jewelry making, Dane wants to stay humble and down to earth. He hopes to continue to learn and enjoy the process.
“I know I'm getting there. I'd say I've got some ways to go. There's always room for improvement,” he said.
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