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5 questions with Danica Asurdžić

Mjolnir Pendant by Danica Asurdzic
Danica Asurdzic  DeeArtist
The READER'S CHOICE AWARD WINNER for our May Design Challenge theme of HEROES & VILLAINS, Danica Asurdžić of Novi Sad, Serbia, sent us this MJOLNIR PENDANT, inspired by Thor (MARVEL's Cinematic Universe). The 3D piece is made from copper wire and silver-plated Artistic wire, wrapped and woven.  It is filled with sparkly mirror-silver crystal glass beads, and she combined Celtic knot motifs on the sides to make it look more feminine. The handle is wrapped in copper wire which has been oxidized for an antique look, then polished to a high shine and sealed with a clear glaze.

Danica enjoys creating jewelry in her home studio with her pet pigeon Cica (Kitty) beside her. "Creating handmade jewelry is an opportunity to express your inner world and attract that special person who wants to stand out from the crowd, and proudly wear a piece that says "I’m unique, I’m different, this is my story..."

Her design esthetic features lots of curls and coils, flowers, gemstones - fairy style, then antique, Aztec, Egyptian, Viking, Celtic, Gothic, rock star“ and tribal jewelry. "I rather tend to overdo my pieces, so even the simple, minimalistic cold forged wire designs I file and polish by hand for hours, just to achieve smooth 3D effect and a mirror shine."
Pet Pigeon Cica
Danica's pet pigeon, Cica
ARE YOU A PROFESSIONAL JEWELRY-MAKER, OR IS THIS A HOBBY? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN CREATING?

Jewelry design is my profession, although it’s hard to give such a serious tone to this kind of work, which brings me so much fun and joy! My business name is DeeArtist – derived from my initials and obsession to create art since early childhood.

Jewelry has to be customer-friendly, and made to last. That is my Rule Number 1, so there are no "take the money and run“ 15-minute projects that can fall apart in a week.

My first attempts at jewelry making go way back to the time when I was 11 years old. I used to peel electric wires and cut insulation to make tube beads, which I would string on a thread and make bracelets. I remember once I cut my mother’s leather gloves (fingers) into strips, then tied those tiny bits together like a long "barbed wire“ cord, which I wrapped and tied around my wrist so I could have fingerless gloves and a leather bracelet like Billy Idol or Madonna... got a good spanking after that, but it was worth it!

Later on, I used to make clay sculptures and beads, paint garden wire, and wrap marbles, pebbles and shells, trying to make unique jewelry designs back in a day when we didn’t have any jewelry supply stores around. 
King Rocker design inspired by Billy Idol and Sigue Sigue Sputnik
King Rocker design inspired by Billy Idol and Sigue Sigue Sputnik.
HOW DID YOU LEARN JEWELRY-MAKING?

In the beginning, I couldn’t afford to buy books or tutorials, so YouTube was my starting point. Wire Guild, Beadaholique, and Blue Kitty Creations are some of the channels that offered techniques and styles that correlated with my design esthetics. 

Perri Jackson of Shaktipaj Designs has to be one of the most creative wirewrap jewelry designers, and her tutorials and techniques I often use in my creations.

I have to mention Daniela Naumova from Macedonia, her work had a great influence on me, we became great friends, and she helped me the most with useful tips and advice. "Finish what you’ve started“ must be the best advice ever. 

She passed away last Christmas due to breast cancer, and every piece I make is somehow devoted to her... I miss her terribly.
Lady Loki design inspired by MARVEL
Lady Loki design inspired by MARVEL.
WHAT’S THE GOOFIEST/MOST EMBARRASSING MISTAKE THAT YOU EVER MADE? 
 

Goofy mistakes come from following "rules“ and tutorials with a blindfold, or using improper jewelry findings which can’t hold a weight but they look pretty, and of course, setting a price for a custom order before finishing a piece is always tricky.

Sometimes "goofy mistakes“ result in most unique and extraordinary creations, one time I oxidized thin wires before wrapping and got a beautiful leopard-skin weave effect, yet I was unable to remove black stains from my nails and fingers for weeks!
 
 
WHAT IS THE MOST UNUSUAL PLACE YOU’VE EVER BEADED? 

One time I brought my wires and tools to the beach bar and taught my friends how to make Viking knit bracelets! It was fun and they went home with their brand-new bracelets and a tan, but the most unusual place has to be on a train to Belgrade. I had two exhibitions scheduled and I had to make the best use of my time, so I had decided to weave earrings while I traveled. An older man sitting across me was so delighted to watch me work, he cheered me on and commented all the way (very loudly), until some other passengers got up to see what I was doing... I only wish I had my business cards with me!
WHERE CAN PEOPLE SEE MORE OF YOUR WORK?

Learn more about Danica's work (hint: SHE LOVES SUPERHEROES!) on FacebookEtsy, or YouTube where she makes jewelry under the name Dee Artist. 
FIND MORE: wire , wirework

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