Diana Erickson

Welcome to my website of hand-made artisan jewelry. With top quality materials, primarily sterling silver, semi-precious stones and vitreous enamels, my contemporary jewelry inspired by nature reflects the beautiful trees, flowers, animals and birds, colors, and landscapes of the world around me.

I was born in Palo Alto and spent most of my early years in Southern California. At the age of 14, I moved to Yosemite National Park, and my life was forever changed. There I fell in love with the beauty of nature: granite cliffs, trees, seasons, alpine glow, snowflakes, and starry nights. My first job was with the Yosemite Natural History Association, where I wrote and illustrated a guide to trees for children entitled “What’s Your Name, Mr. Tree?”

When I reached college, I studied both art and landscape architecture. I started off with ceramics, and then explored woodworking and fiber arts. I was told I could not expect to make a living as an artist, however, and so went on to earn my Bachelor of Science degree in Landscape Architecture in 1980, and spent 35 years working as a Landscape Architect for the Eldorado National Forest in the Sierra Nevada foothills of California, and the Chugach National Forest in Alaska. 

Together with my husband, I raised two wonderful daughters. I became involved with community theater through our daughters, and did set design and/or scenic painting on a large scale for over a dozen productions. After retiring from the Forest Service in 2016, I have finally been able to devote myself full time to my artwork. I have always enjoyed watercolor painting. I began learning metalsmithing in 2015, and soon discovered the art of cloisonné which, for me, is like painting with glass. What a perfect marrying of my varied interests! I studied cloisonné and plique-à-jour with artists Ricky Frank, Merry-Lee-Rae, Amy Lyons and Sandra McEwen, and am continually learning through experimentation and hard work. I began teaching classes in enameling and cloisonné at Studio 26 in Cameron Park, California, in 2020, which I hope to resume as life gets back to normal after Covid-19. 

Most of my work is inspired by nature - landscapes, plants and animals. Living in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada in California provides many opportunities for spending time outdoors in the oak dotted landscape, at the American River, and up in the mountains. I love to travel, and recent trips to Alaska, Guatemala and Italy have provided additional inspiration. Traveling to and spending time in new places provides opportunities to relate to those settings in a very intimate way. As an artist, I find I am always studying the details of my surroundings - the shapes, how the colors blend, and how light creates the mood. For me, the process of creating art is a process of relating to my environment, capturing that experience, and passing it along to the viewer so that they may also experience a bit of it as well. It is the love and passion of designing and handcrafting pieces that bring joy to both the artist and the observer.

Recently I have begun incorporating some die-struck components into my work, using metal dies created in previous centuries. I find that I am especially attracted to designs from the Art Nouveau and Art Deco periods and enjoy exploring how artists of past centuries interpreted their world as well.