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Dahlia Kanner graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1996 where she majored in Jewelry and Light Metals, training in classic goldsmithing techniques and jewelry design. Studying abroad in India during the winter of her Junior year, Dahlia discovered an intensity of colors, scents, and a cacophony of design and architectural styles. The intricacies of ornamentation in Indian art and architecture influence her work to this day.
Dahlia’s interest in art began as a young child during annual trips to Israel. She visited artist studios across the country while her mother chose art and craft to import for sale in America. Influences of the land, culture, and art imprinted upon her. This time abroad, as well as her proximity to the collections of the Smithsonian and National Gallery in Washington, D.C. sparked her creativity. Dahlia can’t remember a time growing up when she wasn’t making something with her hands, whether it was a spider web made from threads of foam packing material that covered her entire bedroom, hand made jewelry using watercolor paper, doll hats, doodles, or just creative messes.
Today her sculptural jewelry channels the rhythm and forces of nature into beautiful, bold textural pieces. Dahlia works primarily in sterling silver and high karat gold. Her unique, hand-crafted jewelry is sold in more than 50 museums, stores, and galleries throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Dahlia lives and works in Rhode Island and shares her studio with her assistant Jackie and her queen dog Gracie.
She is proud to be the third generation of female business owners in her family.
I enjoy observing the interplay of textures in nature — moss on a jagged rock, soft buds on a branch — that so often go unnoticed. At home I keep a collection of natural elements gathered on walks in the woods, collected from the seaside, and discovered on trips to foreign lands. These details and contrasts become the central element of my jewelry — textures distilled from memory. The proportion and texture are finalized during the wax carving process, making each ring slightly different, as if it had grown rather than been carved.
The weight of my pieces provides a strong tactile presence. When I make earrings, necklaces or bracelets, I tend to come back to the circle both for its simplicity and for its strength. I like the idea of my jewelry being not only adornment, but also a statement, a shield for the wearer or a little sculpture for the hand. – Kanner