Bringing together diverse influences is a key theme of designer/maker Diana "Dini" Hall’s life as well as her work. She grew up in Bremen, Germany and still has vivid memories of watching the city’s goldsmiths through their shop windows as they plied their craft. Later, she moved with her family to the coast of Massachusetts where her father started a business producing spars and rigging for high-performance sailboats. As a teenager, Dini focused her energies on a variety of creative pursuits. After high school, she attended the Rhode Island School of Design, graduating in 1994 with a BFA in Jewelry and Metalsmithing.
Dini was introduced to the unique properties of carbon fiber while working for her father’s company after graduation. She began to incorporate carbon fiber into her jewelry uniting it with precious metals to create a unique synthesis. The immense strength and intricate woven pattern of carbon fiber beautifully complement the properties of traditional jewelry materials including gold, silver and precious stones.
Working in her Rhode Island and Caribbean studios, Dini has continued to build on this theme, producing an expanding line of jewelry that constantly reinterprets this melding of materials in fascinating new ways.
Dini’s studio travels between the Caribbean and RI. Over the years, Dini's family life has taken her on the road. She has spent time in South Africa, Mexico, and the east coast of the US and produces most of her work in the Caribbean and Rhode Island.
Carbon is the chemical element of atomic number 6, a non-metal that has two main forms (diamond and graphite) and occurs in impure form in charcoal, soot and coal. Carbon is essential to all known living systems and without it, life as we know it could not exist.
The uses of carbon and its compounds are extremely varied. One of these is carbon fiber.
Carbon fiber is a strong, stiff fiber of nearly pure carbon, made by subjecting various organic raw materials to high temperatures combined with synthetic resins to produce a strong, lightweight material used in construction of aircraft, spacecraft, sports equipment and our jewelry.
I chose carbon fiber to work with for a few reasons. I loved the way the material looked when the sun or bright lights shone on it. It has an almost iridescent reflective quality. I also loved the idea of making fine jewelry out of a high-tech material that actually originates from the most essential element on earth. It's light weight allows me to make some unusual, strong, light pieces that I normally could not produce with any other material. Using carbon fiber with gold, silver and stones brings a softer feeling to the material. My personal favorite is the gold-black combination, which almost has a very tribal feel to it. I like taking a modern and "cold" material and turning it into something handmade that evokes feeling.