East End artist starts selling online

CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A longtime East End artist has begun to exhibit her latest jewelry -- earrings, bead necklaces, wire cuff bracelets and metal clay pendants -- in a newly created online showroom."I'm older now, and way too busy to go traipsing around the country. Internet marketing seems like the way to go," said Damienne Dibble.Dibble calls her workspace, inside her Virginia Street apartment near the state Capitol, the Shibui Design Studio. Her online store is called "Shibuiland.""When my husband and I were full-time potters in the 1970s and 1980s, we sold our work through major juried craft fairs. This led to having our work also being purchased by metropolitan craft galleries," Dibble said. Her husband, V.C. Dibble, died 10 years ago."Over the years, we sold handmade stoneware and porcelain pottery in nine states," she said. "Today, the travel and fees involved in developing craft markets in that way has become very expensive."This fall, Dibble also plans to begin selling men's jewelry from her East End studio and online shop, as well as new kiln-fired metal jewelry she is still developing. Photos and descriptions of her work are available at www.etsy.com/shop/shibuiland.Dibble believes her work in unique."So far, no jewelry artist selling online at Etsy makes wire cuff bracelets and guitar wire jewelry like mine. It took several years of solitary practice with wire to get comfortable enough with that medium to be authentic and original in my design."Dibble is also working to develop and use a copper-silver alloy, called shibuichi," which dates back to samurai sword makers between 1400 and 1600.
Developing a shibuichi alloy for her jewelry, as well a new steel-clay alloy, will require additional experimental work in the coming months."If all goes well, I should have some interesting mixed metal pendants, brooches, bracelets and earrings by this fall."Dibble's jewelry will also be shown, and available for purchase, during this year's first Artwalk, between 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. today.The Purple Moon, one of more than 20 stores and locations that are part of Artwalk, will feature Dibble's jewelry at their store at 906 Quarrier St..The monthly Artwalk takes place on the third Thursday of each month from March through December. For information, visit http://charlestonartwalk.com.Reach Paul J. Nyden at pjnyden@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5164.
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