Hi! I’m Carmel. Growing up I was always creating something, from making greeting cards to upcycling anything I could make more beautiful. I always had something under construction. I went away from it in my early twenties but in my late twenties when making a career change the choice was an easy one. I dabbled in a few different crafts such as Ceramics and Stained Glass before finding my passion with jewellery design.
I love working with Copper it’s so malleable and eye-catching with its unique red-orange hue. It’s so versatile because it’s easy to shape, imprint and engrave. I love the fact that it has medicinal qualities too.
I was accepted into the Kite Design Studios in Waterford and I was over the moon. There I was giving the opportunity to produce and sell my products and to learn about the industry. Working beside other very talented crafters; they took me under their wing. Some had worked alongside my grandfather and father in the Waterford Glass, cutting and blowing glass, so I felt a real connection and knew this was the right path for me to follow.
Coming up with my name was a no brainer for me, Di Fenza is such a unique surname. In fact my family are the only Di Fenza’s in the whole of Ireland. Originating from Naples in Italy my grandparents moved to Waterford in 1956 for work. It was amazing meeting customers and being able to share my story with them. I remember my first sale. I was so happy, someone was buying a piece I had made, there is no feeling like it! From there I continued to learn new techniques and skills and refined my design
I also made a conscious decision to be as eco friendly as possible going forward, trying to use as much recycled or recyclable materials and packaging as I could. I set up a workshop and turned it into my creative solas where I go and get away from the world and just be creative.
After a while I introduced Sterling Silver into my designs. Copper and Sterling Silver complement each other so beautifully and after I stopped melting the silver I really loved working with both. Continuing to build my brand and my followers along the way. I also created a new collection, which I have called Connections.
When the lockdowns happened I had to rethink my plans and come up with something more viable for these weird and uncertain times so I decided to create my own website. This way I could still continue to grow my followers and connect with customers. I have recently started a blog to share more about my story and what inspires me in my jewellery process.
I don’t know what the future holds but I’m very excited to see where my new journey will take me.
At Di Fenza Designs I aspire to create unique, timeless pieces that each person will cherish for a lifetime. I want to surpass my customers’ expectations in every way.
To be recognised for quality and unique designs internationally.
I am a young and upcoming jewellery designer from the historic city of Waterford. I design and produce my hand crafted pieces locally in my workshop. Copper and Sterling Silver are my materials of choice and through these mediums imaginative designs are created.
My bench is my oyster, where time ceases to exist as I create. Geometric shapes and forms can be seen throughout my designs and my inspiration comes from the world around me and in many forms from architecture to infrastructure to nature and all it holds.
Connections is one of my collections, these pieces have been inspired by the Waterford Bridge, not just in the bridge’s architecture but in the way bridges join together two pieces of land thus connecting people and bringing them closer. Nothing says it better than seeing the iconic landmark on the horizon and knowing you are home. In this collection I concentrated on the angles and shapes formed by the infrastructure of the bridge to produce sharp, clean designs that create a travel path around the pieces, depicting strength and presence.
Another one of my collections that I have created is Continuity, specifically regarding the circle and everything it represents from totality, wholeness, eternity and many more. Pythagoras called the circle “Monad” the most perfect of all creative forms without beginning or end, sides or corners. This collection consists of copper and sterling silver hooped earrings along with copper pendants that are highlighted with a dash of sterling silver to accent the copper’s burnished glow.
As I design, I’m brought back to a child-like state, losing myself in a world of imagination,exploring and constructing my unique designs with the certainty that anything is possible. I find solas working with my hands and pride in every piece they touch. I have a strong desire to continue learning new skills and techniques to keep evolving my designs as I journey on the path of handcrafted jewellery.