Annika Quinn Jewelry: Craft Lake City Artisan


Annika Quinn Jewelry

Photo: John Barkiple
Photo: John Barkiple

“I’ve always used jewelry as armor,” says metalsmith and jewelry maker Annika Quinn Nelson DiMeo. Armor indeed: Her commanding signature pieces, mostly made of copper, brass or silver, traverse minimal geometries and silhouettes while toying with dimension. From loud knuckle rings and sheath-like wrist cuffs to sleek earrings and necklaces, every one of DiMeo’s pieces emanates power.

A native Salt Laker, DiMeo quickly picked up metalsmithing after soldering for an audio company and taking a couple of classes, but she more seriously began making jewelry in 2011, compelled by the potential to create wearable art. Craft Lake City’s 2013 DIY Fest—where DiMeo shared a booth with her father, artist Gregory L. Nelson, who will also present at this year’s festival—was the first time DiMeo put herself and her work out there, and the overwhelming, rewarding response was her first major eye-opener. Fast-forward to last year, when DiMeo completed the massive, six-month-long project of turning her garage into her own studio, installing everything from insulation to drywall and equipping the space with countless materials and tools. “Building this studio was acknowledging the fact that I need to do this, to make things, to be tied to this,” says DiMeo. “Making jewelry has changed who I am as a person.”

One of DiMeo’s newest lines, which she’ll showcase at the 2016 DIY Fest, comprises a series of  visually striking statement rings on a mission. DiMeo has partnered with the Rock n’ Roll Camp for Girls – SLC, to which a portion of the collection’s proceeds will be donated. The rings are arresting and beautiful, featuring large, semi-two-dimensional designs that rise from the finger: Some are pointed with cutouts, others are solid and curved, and one has serrated edges. “These rings are designed for wear, style-wise, but they could also be used to protect yourself,” says DiMeo. “These draw inspiration from the idea of putting armor on to create an awareness amongst ourselves—especially as women—to watch your back, to watch your sister’s back … to feel confident and empowered.”

For those looking to get dressed to kill, DiMeo’s work is available online, at the DIY Fest and at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art.

For more information about CLC DIY Festival programming, click here.