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Featured Shop: Dollybird

Jul 9, 2014

by Katie Johansson

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

My name is Katie Johansson and I’m the creator, metalsmith artist and designer for Dollybird. I just relocated my studio from the big city lights of Chicago, Illinois to a small, tree-lined town nearby called Barrington.

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Dollybird is about rare ornaments to cherish – works to be collected in a hunt for the genuine. My jewelry is for anyone looking for a one-of-a-kind statement, or for the collector with a creative mind that is dissatisfied with today’s mass-produced society. It’s about timeless design, made for those who take pride in each piece being as genuine as the personality that wears it.

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My process as a metalsmith has been built with tons of obsessive practice and perseverance. It begins with a hunt to find something special for my customer, which can be an ardent design from my own imagination, or a rare gem. From that point, each piece is made by hand – built and framed from sterling sheet and bezel wire, then hand-fitted, filed, soldered, torched and buffed for the grand finale of a finished piece. None of my pieces are cast.

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I’m not afraid of hard work and change; I believe hard work and ambition feeds your dreams. I got into metalsmithing when I was looking to transition out of my interior design career and find something more to do with fashion. I landed a new job drafting and spec’ing jewelry for a wholesale company, and my architectural skills quickly transformed into fashion as a trend designer. Frustrated with mass production of inexpensive jewelry, I enrolled in classes for basic metalsmithing. It didn’t take long before I realized that I had found something I would never tire of. It’s been over 10 years with Dollybird and I’m still going strong. There’s always something new to learn and a fire to create something greater than before.

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For me, Etsy represents the ethos of the American dream: an opportunity for prosperity and success that is achieved through a sense of freedom and hard work. It also means getting the chance to be global with my business. Because of Etsy, I have a fan base all over the world and in every corner of the U.S. I would like to send a heartfelt thank you to my customers and loyal collectors that have made Dollybird a true symbol of an eclectic independent brand surviving all these years. In the future, I’d love for Dollybird to keep growing strong with quality, one-of-a-kind jewelry that stands out from the crowd.

Follow Dollybird on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter.

All photographs by Dollybird.

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2 Featured Comments

  • TexturesofLife

    Lori McDonald from CharmHouse said 2 years ago Featured

    As a Dollybird Collector for the past three years; I often come back to see what new treasures Katie has created. All of my pieces are even better in person. The craftsmanship and care for each design shines through. When something catches your eye, snap it up quick! I still think about the two Dollybirds that got away. Cheers to the curious whimsy and earthly beauty found in this wonderful artists Etsy Shop!

  • LastingImpressionsco

    Catherine Gravitt from LastingImpressionsco said 2 years ago Featured

    I met Katie in Tuscon one year. As a fellow metalsmith, I know all the work she puts into each piece. She has always been an idol of mine. Even my metalsmithing teacher in college couldn't figure out how to replicate her perfect soldering techniques. Her work is truly unsurpassed

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