Student entrepreneur encapsulates energy through wire wrapped gemstone jewelry

Killing boredom awoke the artist in one Keene State College student and propelled him into a self-made business.

Dylan Renner, KSC junior, said he found the New Hampshire winter as a desk attendant less than thrilling. After he completed homework and grew tired of surfing the web, he decided to delve into an old hobby to pass time.

“I haven’t stopped since last December,” Renner stated.

Renner wraps wire around gemstones and transforms them into pendants. However, not in the simple fashion retail stores may string them. Renner creates an intricate wire coil around the stone, complementing its natural beauty with his art. He dubbed his business Odd Piece Designs.

Photo Illustration by Kyle Bailey / Photo Editor

Photo Illustration by Kyle Bailey / Photo Editor

“A lot of people aim at getting really nice stones and just accenting them with wire,” Renner said, “Some people focus a lot more on the wire artwork. I try to incorporate both.”

He explained that if someone asks him for a necklace without a gemstone in mind, he has some on hand. Renner said he tries to match a stone with the person based on its natural properties. “A lot of the stones have metaphysical properties. I’ll ask them what they want more of in their life and they can pick from what I have,” Renner said. He explained that, for instance, amethyst is a recycler stone that circulates negative energy out of the body. From there, he said it’s about the energy of the person. “The person is built into the wrap also,” Renner said. He admitted he preferred artistic reign over a piece’s final design, an issue he hasn’t had to fight a customer over.

Maya Wescott, KSC senior, acknowledged Renner’s self-described connection between person and gem. “He feels the piece out. The wire holds the piece and reflects what it’s about,” Wescott said. Wescott said she has two pieces in progress. “I go to Martha’s Vineyard all the time so he currently has a seashell and sea glass he’s doing for me,” Wescott said. Her roommate, Jessica Lescrinier, has had Renner commission two necklaces. She said the first time she brought him an amethyst stone to make into a birthday gift for her boyfriend. “This year I had an old quartz and he did something really intricate with it,” Lescrinier said, “I’m very happy. They’re beautiful.” Lescrinier said she was shocked they didn’t cost more money. “His costs are incredibly reasonable for the piece of art you’re receiving,” Lescrinier said.

Renner sells his custom jewelry in two categories. If a piece is wrapped with copper wire it runs anywhere between twenty and thirty dollars. That price jumps in between forty and sixty dollars if he uses sterling silver or 14-karat gold wire. Renner explained he only recently began charging money for his work because of higher demand for merchandise. “When I started taking it seriously I did it for free,” Renner said, “I wanted to just spread the love, not take advantage of people, but as I progressed, unfortunately I needed funds to supply myself with more materials.”

Renner said he sees Odd Piece Designs partly as a business and partly as his artistry, since it didn’t originate with profitable intentions. “At this point I’m treating it more as a way to get my stuff out there to the public, to get my name out there,” Renner stated. He noted that wire wrappers on Facebook or Instagram are major inspirations, as they advertise and produce many small pieces daily. Renner explained that these artists profit by selling their pieces via live-auction on Instagram, with some originals going for over one-hundred dollars each. Renner admitted his business is not quite there yet. “It’s in the beginning stages,” Renner said, “I would love to see it go somewhere in the future.”

Lescrinier said she shows her appreciation for his work frequently, “I wear mine almost every day.”

 

Allie Baker can be contacted at abaker@keene-equinox.com

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