SEATTLE-BASED artist Diana Fakhoury comes to the Grand Bohemian Gallery this Saturday for a trunk show.
Fakhoury’s latest jewelry line is inspired by natural elements and infused with her love of geometric shapes and her Middle Eastern heritage.
Fakhoury’s trunk show takes place Saturday, Aug. 4 from 4:30 to 7 p.m. at the Mansion on Forsyth’s gallery.
We caught up with Fakhoury last week.
Have you always been interested in jewelry making?
I’ve always done jewelry as a hobby, even as a little girl. I made little beaded bracelets, but it was nothing I took seriously—just something I did for fun to give to people. I ended up getting an online degree from NC State University and even there I tried a lot of different mediums, woodworking and sculptural things and larger scale. It wasn’t until after I graduated that I decided to pursue a line of jewelry because I wanted something that was more manageable, something on a smaller scale I could start at home and started from there. That was in 2010.
What’s your process for jewelry making?
It really varies. I use a lot of gemstones; I let the gemstones be the focal point. I start with a stone and know I want to use it, and I wok off the vibe and shape and create a frame around it, decide how I want to display that stone. Other times, I have an idea and it’s a matter of figuring out how to execute it. More recently with this collection, I’ve been working on what I call a summer series, being inspired by objects in nature. For example, I’ll see a flower and I’m like, “Okay, yes, that’s pretty, how can I work with that?” I start off with a simple sketch and then go straight into the material, figuring out what kind of shape I want, how to cut it, how to form it. It’s perfect for me because I’m really detail oriented, so this is a perfect medium for me. I like precision and small-scale, intricate works.
Your work is inspired by geometric patterns and Middle Eastern influence. Can you tell me more about those?
I was born in Kuwait. I lived there and grew up there until I was six. Then my family was in the States for summer vacation in 1990, when the Gulf War started. I’m Palestinian, and since we were Palestinian we didn’t really have the same rights in Kuwait. We ended up staying here, and we had family in the Asheville area so we went there.
When I grew up, I was very math- and science-oriented. I excelled in math when I was younger. When I went to university, I was studying engineering, planning to be an engineer. I studied it for two years but realized I wasn’t happy doing that. At the same time, I made friends in the design school. It was not something I was naturally gifted at, but I think that precise, detail-oriented side of me helped to pursue this career. The geometry and the way I approach my work is not in the most artistic way, but more of a problem-solving way. I have this vision—how do I make it happen?