Progress and Personnel04 Jul 2010, by Uncategorized in
Dianna Badalament, our International Jewelry Program Director, is being featured in two jewelry trade publications this summer, highlighting her recent training trip to our new metalsmithing program in Calcutta. In addition to her work for Made By Survivors/TEN, Dianna creates and sells exquisite jewelry through her own website, DiannaBDesigns.com. Dianna’s time in Calcutta was extremely productive and essential to the progress of the program – it was also a challenging time because she went in the hot season and worked many days in 110 degree heat, or hotter! She also had to get creative because we were still in the process of acquiring some of the necessary tools of the trade for the studio. It was challenging to find everything we needed in country. We were expecting to start with 10 trainees, and instead 20 girls signed up, so Dianna and Paul had to split the trainees into two teams, and Dianna created curriculum each day for the two groups, while also training Paul and the other staff to oversee.
Dianna’s work has been written up in Revere Academy Times, and will soon also be published in the MJSA Journal, a major industry publication.
"Revere graduate, Dianna Badalament, recently traveled India, to teach jewelry making skills to abused women. The organization, Made by Survivors, is a non-profit that provides skill training to survivors of human trafficking and slavery. Based in Kolkata, Dianna joined the program to introduce basic metalsmithing and jewelry making skills to a selected group of women. The project is intended to give the victims with little income potential an alternative to working in brothels or becoming re-enslaved.
Both the Jewelry Artisans Collective and the Revere Academy donated over $1500 in used hand tools for Dianna to take with her. When they received the tools, Dianna stated, "Made By Survivors and I were overwhelmed at the generosity of the San Francisco jewelry community. The donated tools are essential in stocking our metalsmithing studio in order to teach the survivors a greater breadth of skills. These tools will also enable me to offer a learning opportunity to new girls who would like to join the program. JAC will continue to accept donations of tools and materials. Contact Jenny Reeves".
Dianna has created several of the designs for our Amnesty International 50th anniversary commemmorative jewelry collection,which will be made in India by our survivors. In addition to teaching the survivors to cut, pierce, shape and join precious metals, she is also teaching them the fundamentals of design, and has been very pleased with the emerging talents of many of our students, as you can see in these examples:
Dianna lives in Sepastopol, California and is newly married.
In addition to Dianna, our jewelry team includes Paul Suit, Asia Program Director, who lives and works in India, and Jewelry Program Director Melissa Tyson, www.glorytogoddesigns.com, who helped envision and set up the program and is currently on maternity leave. Sally Rymer and Becky Bavinger are ably managing the day to day implementation of the program while Paul is in the US this month.