Donelle Clarke, Founder & Owner, Silverfinch Jewelry Design
To begin with, I found that making jewelry actually spoke to my soul. I felt peace and joy within me when I began to learn about how to make jewelry. I experimented with making jewelry that was authentic to me. When I was contemplating a name for my business, Donna Tartt’s book came out called The Goldfinch. That sparked my imagination and I invented Silverfinch!
My Love of Jewelry
When I was still nursing I took courses on my time off that were creative. My grandmother was an amazing entrepreneur. I think I got the itch to make from her. I taught myself to knit and crochet when I was quite young. Then I learned to embroider, and you name it. I was searching for “something” but had no idea what the something was. But I definitely had fun exploring! And, I met many wonderful people along the way. I even learned to weave, bead on leather, and of course, beading itself.
My search eventually lead me to a Silversmithing course and that is where I knew I was on the right track! I felt hungry to learn more, and from several teachers. Even though my heart really lies with Metal Clay, I must say I enjoy both!
Not having a degree in Art, it tends to take me longer than others, but that’s okay with me. I felt a hunger to learn, which I only ever knew with my nursing career.
Here is the hook: if I can draw it, I can make it! This was a huge realization for me. It takes time for me to get the proportions right, but it’s actually about me using the other part of my brain from what I used in nursing. And that is healthy and balanced. This not only includes birds but all the beauty in nature that’s around me.
The other thing is about finding my voice and not having my jewelry look like anyone else’s jewelry. This is why I needed to branch into my own specific loves.
Inspiration comes from everywhere! I drew and then made my Koala Bear pendant when Australia was on fire. I did it out of hope for the wildlife as well as everyone who was suffering due to the fires then.
I made the loon just because she is so Canadian.
Gemstones also provide endless inspiration. I look to see what they are saying to me. What they want to be or to be a part of. They all seem to have their own personality.
My Love of Birds
I don’t live far from a bird sanctuary. And it was common to see raptures daily. We feed our wildlife bird friends and pay particular attention to the appropriate advice given as to their diet.
This winter was particularly hard on our hummingbirds. I was particularly concerned about the one I call Ruby. I watched her carefully as she struggled. She could see me in the dining room window. It is clear to them all that I love birds, and they often look in at me and my bird Kailee.
Ruby did make it through the severe temperatures we had but decided that I was her person, and the feeder was hers! No kidding! For the rest of the severely low temperatures, she chased all the other hummers away! I learned that she wasn’t the only hummingbird to do this.
Meet Phoebe and Kailee
And, my love of birds would not be complete without saying that my beloved love birds, Phoebe and Kailee. Phoebe was given to me and we learned together. I talked to her all the time knowing that she may or may not talk. But she was amazing! She had a large vocabulary, traveled well, and was such a beauty. Her colors were brilliant being a Fischer Love Bird. After Phoebe came Kailee, who actually adopted me. When I was looking for a bird she hopped right on me and refused to leave. The search had ended, and she came home with me. She does not talk much. She says Mommy, love you, and ready. That’s it. She is an orange-headed Opalean Love Bird. The underside of her feathers shines like an Australian opal.
Donna Tartt’s, The Goldfinch
About the time I was searching for my business name, Donna Tartt’s book, The Goldfinch, came out. It was the name, like a missing piece in a puzzle. There actually is a Goldfinch, but I made up the name Silverfinch. I made it one word, just like Goldfinch. It was the missing link!
So my full, and actual name is Donelle’s Silverfinch Jewelry Design. And, it does seem to cover all the bases. Silverfinch is about my own authenticity in designing my jewelry.
Silverfinch Jewelry Design
I hope you enjoyed this Blog. It matters to me that I am as transparent as I can with you, and you just got a glimpse of how I think. Let me know your thoughts, and check out my jewelry with a new set of eyes.
Thanks for sharing the origins of your business, Donelle. Evidently this is meant to be and makes you happy, which shows in the beautiful creations you make!
I love the story and the name.
Thanks so much for your feedback on my latest Blog post! I want people who don’t know me, and who may not be able to meet me in person at Markets, to get to know who the maker is behind the jewelry. And with that in mind, I wrote this Blog. I will be writing more. 🙂