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Art & Life with Pamela DeSantis, Honey Tribe Jewelry

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pamela DeSantis, Honey Tribe Jewelry.

Pamela, Honey Tribe Jewelry, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I grew up on a dead end street with a steep wooded hill at the end that led to a river. My mother couldn’t swim. She forbid my siblings and me from going there for fear we’d drown. Consequently, I spent every moment I could steal in those woods and in that river. For me, peace in a chaotic world. I grew up to be a complete nemophilist with an aching desire to be in the forest and near the water. All of my work is a reflection of this.

I come from a long line of artists, so the need to translate the beauty that inspires me is literally in my blood. I tinkered with many mediums throughout my life: paint, stone, welding, clay, and printmaking. I discovered my passion for jewelry design and metalsmithing in the midst of an oppressive marriage, with three small children. “More education” for me was shunned by the patriarchy. So…an amazing and influential friend, interior designer Krista Stokes, held my first trunk show of beaded jewelry I had taught myself to make. I sold almost every single piece. I made enough money of my own to hire my first ever babysitter and I snuck off to metalsmithing classes at Heartwood College of Art. It was absolutely the best act of rebellion I have ever embarked on.

As I had suspected, jewelry design…stones and metal…gave me the voice I needed to translate the beauty I saw in the world. A perfect match.

Eight years later, almost to the day, I am happily single with a bustling jewelry business that feeds my three sons and is even helping one of them go to college to study jazz. My studio is in the middle of an antique cottage with an overgrown lawn full of pollinators. Close to the forest. Close to the sea. Surrounded by constant inspiration that I move in and out of at my own free will…

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I am a jewelry designer, metalsmithing crossed with a bit of magic. I work in bronze, silver and gold. I use a lot of stones in my work that carry meaning for people, passed down in lore through the ages. In its design, my work is a reflection of the natural world, and through the materials I choose it carries meaning for the people I am creating for. Talismans and amulets if you will.

My work is about positivity, freedom, protection. Love. Finding your voice. Empowering the wearer.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
With all that is going on in the world today, I have wanted my work to be super charged with light and love. As an empathic being, I often feel like my hands are tied when witnessing the oppression and the injustice that I feel has been highlighted by our current government administration. In fact, one of my best selling pieces is a small act of resistance called “Love Trumps Hate”. A crowned heart I carved and cast in silver and bronze. A tiny talisman to remind us of the light at the end of the tunnel. I am so humbled that it is being worn by so many people including Fiona Apple who happened to be wearing it in a photo in Rolling Stone Magazine. I swooned, hoping I spread just a little bit of hope.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
A lot of the work I do is custom. People bring me their wishes, hopes and dreams for a piece of jewelry and I create from there. I do sell through Etsy a bit and a lot through social media, Facebook and Instagram. To see my work in person, the best place to go is Zen & Company in the lovely seaside town of Kennebunk, Maine. She has a huge case of my work that I keep stocked. It is also available for touching and trying on at Handworks Gallery in Blue Hill, Maine, PS Boutique in Portsmouth New Hampshire, and In the Clover in Wiscasset, Maine.

I do love to have trunk shows from time to time and am always interested in new venues to do just that! My favorite show of the year is during Christmas Prelude in Kennebunkport, Maine. Myself and a collective of absolutely amazing artisans have banded together for 8 years now to do a show at Bandaloop Restaurant. It’s pure magic. This year will be our last in this location, so it’d be the best time to come check it out! I will have information posted about it on social media, so follow along to stay in the know.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Portrait of Pam by Brad Maushart

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