Jewelry artist Dawn Benedetto calls her colorful line of jewelry her “fun and clever alter ego.” The petal ring, the signature Poppi product, is made from glass and sterling silver, and is literally a burst of color that refuses to be ignored. Poppi rings are sure to turn any wallflower into the belle of the ball.
In addition to the explosive petal rings, Dawn uses the same technique to create bracelets, earrings, and necklaces. Whether you choose the rounded, “roe” beads or the sharper, “flake” beads that make the petal rings, your Poppi jewelry is definitely going to pop.
Dawn began her life as a jewelry artist at the tender age of fourteen. Although she ironically does not wear much jewelry, it has been the focal point of her creative endeavors. Her portfolio that got her into college was mostly jewelry. Even though she also studied ceramics, sculpture, crafts, art history, and a host of other topics that intrigued her, most of her time in school was spent on jewelry. Her first job out of school was teaching other people how to make jewelry…you might say she’s an expert!
Although the brightly colored glass rings are now her most popular items, Dawn still works with her first love, silver and gold metal work. She began her career as a metalsmith, and still creates one-of-a-kind rings in gold and silver, as well as teaches metalworking classes.
The splashy and colorful Poppi line was born in 2000, when Dawn came up with the design for the petal ring, which instantly became a hit. Customers love them not only because of the enticing color and eye-catching design, but also because they miraculously fit pretty much anybody.
The Poppi line has since expanded to include vintage lucite jewelry, which is just as colorful and fun as the original petal rings, but with a slightly more retro feel to them. These are perfect for collectors, since production on this type of lucite was halted in the 1980s.
Dawn has been making jewelry for most of her life, and she still loves every bit of the process. From the design stage down to each minute phase of production, she’s unable to choose a favorite part, because she loves all of it!
Although her business has expanded to the point of needing several staff members to help with production and business management, you can still find Dawn in her studio making pretty things nearly every day.
Visit Dawn in her Torpedo Factory studio to see her at work, or find her jewelry in a number of local and national retail locations. Her colorful glass and lucite work is also available online at www.poppishop.com.