With close to 70,000 followers on Instagram, Croatian-born Swainsboro resident Zrinka Dunn is not resting on her wire-wrapped laurels because she’s much too busy.
The technique of wire-wrapping, said Dunn, goes back to ancient Egypt. Dunn works with copper and silver wire, which she cuts, hammers, bends, files, and sands with Dremel tools before twisting it to become a one-of-a-kind jewelry piece. She uses a variety of crystals and cabochons in her jewelry, resulting in intricate and delicate pieces which she sells via Etsy.
Becoming a jewelry maker has been a lifelong dream for Dunn, who was a practicing attorney in Croatia for ten years. After moving to Swainsboro seven years ago to marry her husband, John, she discovered her degree wasn’t going to serve her in Georgia due the differences in the law in Europe and the United States. Dunn didn’t enjoy being at home with nothing to do so she began learning the various techniques of wire-wrapping and weaving. She is now learning how to solder silver as well. “Since I was a kid, I always had an urge to express myself creatively in many ways, like drawing, writing, and making jewelry,” she said.
A self-described “workaholic,” she begins the day by drawing and sketching. “I decide what kind of shape, design, what look would be best for it, and trying to justify its natural beauty,” said Dunn of her process. “Sometimes a stone looks better in industrial, geometrical and straight lines, and sometimes it looks the best in organic shapes.”
Her day is also filled with maintaining her social media platforms (Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest), responding to numerous questions and comments, and seeing to last minute touch-ups on orders before they are meticulously packed and shipped. Dunn does all of this herself, every day, and most weekends. She also does all her own advertising through Instagram, which directs her followers to her Etsy page where she is listed by the company as an artist “with multiple 5-star reviews.” Dunn also offers tutorials on her Etsy page, a popular feature that shows customers, step by step, how to create their own pieces of jewelry.
Dunn ships her creations to all states in the country as well as all over the world. She has customers in the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, Croatia, Hungary, Norway, Iceland, Denmark, Romania, Greece, Iceland, Japan, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Russia, and Canada. Dunn says “a part of her heart” is in all her creations and it makes her happy to think that the creations are all across the globe.
“I hope my hands will serve me long, because I am surely overusing them,” she laughs, “but I love what I do. Creating jewelry is my passion, and it makes me fulfilled and happy to express my imagination and creativity this way.” She said she hopes the world will appreciate the value of handmade creations over fabricated mass-produced fashionable jewelry. As she puts it, mass-produced pieces “may look beautiful, but may feel lifeless, and without magic. Because what is life if we do not add some magic to it?”
Dunn’s jewelry can be found on Instagram and Etsy at ZDArtisanJewelry and on Facebook at zd_artisan_jewelry.