Artist Interview: Dana Masters

Posted by Jenni Kirby - December 23 2020




Dana Masters has always followed her art – creating designs On a Whim, as her company is aptly named.


“Years ago, my nephew said ‘you don’t need patience to do something you love’ that really resonated with me and is something I believe.”


Dana Masters’ artistic career began in the pewter industry, where she created small sculptures. It was during this time she came up with the idea to design small, ornate, pewter boxes and ornaments. Dana would begin her designs by carving into wax, then have them cast in pewter in New England. Unfortunately, now there is only a limited quantity of her pewter ornaments and boxes left, as it is increasingly difficult to find people who can cast pewter.


After 28 years of selling her pewter designs, Dana knew it was time for an artistic shift. “I became interested in jewelry because you can sculpt and work with metal similar to pewter.” After trying various metals, Dana found aluminum both beautiful and forgiving. “I will start with an original design or drawing, then transfer it over to aluminum and cut the silhouette out of the metal with a very fine saw blade.”


Dana aspires to capture the simplicity and calm found in artworks by Mark Rothko and Ellsworth Kelly through her designs. “People love the multi-layered designs, like my Blue Ridge necklace.” The multiple layers of aluminum create depth, and Dana says it’s a challenge to hide the rivet in these pieces. “The key is to make a complicated process look simple – I like the challenge that jewelry presents, it’s similar to the challenge pewter presented.”


Dana plans to continue with jewelry, and will be developing new designs and ideas On a Whim.