Tell us a little bit about yourself and the inspiration behind your jewelry line Keir Dahlke?
I have had a fascination with chainmaille, since seeing it in historical images and in movies with recreations of chainmaille armour. I have a very mechanical brain that likes to take things apart and rebuild, so from a young age I would pay close attention and try to take it apart in my mind. With chainmaille, it’s so intricate and complicated and mathematical to construct, I just fell in love with it. The structure of it all, to make a piece is to make a sculpture and a fabric and a work of art. I love it.
Your necklaces look beautiful, and it does look like complicated work. What is your process like? And what are some of your favourite materials to work with?
What are you working on currently? What can we look forward to from Keir Dahlke this summer?
I've been inspired to use brighter colours this summer. The heat and all the beautifully coloured flowers are making me want to make lighter based coloured (silver or white) pieces with bright colourful accents. This summer has inspired me to mix the industrial chainmaille with a light feminine feel.
I love doing the chainmaille first and foremost, but every once in a while it’s nice to do something a little bit different, and that’s when I like to sew. I love making the bags because they’re a great way to utilize and display beautiful fabrics. I love fabric, I can easily spend hours and hours just browsing any kind of fabric store. I also sew other things such as quilts, pillows, aprons and more (which I haven't put up on my etsy shop). I love getting requests for custom sewing projects, it’s so fun to search for the perfect fabrics and make the item just right for the individual.
When I’ve sold quilts in the past, it’s all been through word of mouth and commissions for custom work. I have a queen size quilt that is for sale right now, but I haven't posted it anywhere - I think I love it so much that subconsciously I’m struggling to part with it haha. I have a gallery on my website - KeirDahlke.com - which shows a lot more of my work than is available on etsy. I would very much like to reach out to some galleries and vendors. I have a neurological condition which can limit my mobility, and has kept me from reaching out in the past. I’m doing well enough now that with the help of my service dog (who acts a very cool cane), I’m ready to branch out, which is very exciting.
That sounds exciting indeed. Well, it's really great to hear you're doing well Keir, and ready to branch out. We wish you great luck with everything, and look forward to seeing your beautiful pieces in local Toronto shops.
Etsy Shop: KeirDahlke
Interviewed by Binta Bah of BBTresors in Toronto on June 26, 2016.