Johanna Dahm has been a citizen of the world. Born in Switzerland, she grew up in South Africa, spent time studying in the U.S., has taught in Western Europe and the Middle East, and has spent extended periods doing research in West Africa and East India.
Throughout her impressive career, Dahm has experimented with different methods and techniques. Her latest rings, which feature 'raw' diamonds (stones that have not been cut or polished and can even be black in color), have another interesting twist: they're hollow form rings that are based on ancient metal casting methods she learned while working alongside skilled craftspeople in Ghana and India.
I really like the elegant yet organic nature of Dahm's work. Somehow, there's a beauty in the rough metal form holding a raw diamond (above) or the seed-like diamonds rising off the surface of the ring (below).
Dahm has received numerous prizes and exhibited her work extensively throughout Europe, Canada, and Japan. With her latest work, she does a great job using forms and textures while modernizing an ancient metalworking technique.
The clay casing of the funky ring (above) has been broken open after firing and casting. The diamonds seem to sprout from it and are a nice counterpoint to the roughness of the clay.
This work is doubly creative -- it's based on ancient techniques practiced by only a few people today, and it combines different shapes and surfaces into a coherent whole.