About the Maker
Welcome to Susan Dorling Designs!
From handwoven precious metal chain embellished with Swarovski crystals and gemstones to responsibly harvested bark from fallen Ontario white birch trees given new life as cuffs, pendants and earrings, our multi-media jewelry collections are eclectic and colorful; made with a variety of mediums, from watercolor paper, birch bark, cork and satin to resin, epoxy clay, precious metals and gemstones. Discover vibrant hand-painted watercolor art and original digital art transformed into feather-light earrings, cuffs, and pendants; mixed metal chain maille jewelry, satin cuffs, and earrings and necklaces featuring gemstones like turquoise, lapis lazuli and crystal quartz.
Our jewelry is made from ethically sourced, organic, sustainable, eco-friendly and cruelty-free materials. No leather, feathers, freshwater pearls, silk or any other animal by-products.
- Birch Bark (responsibly harvested from fallen Ontario white birch trees)
- Portugese Cork
- Vegan Leather/Suede
- Gemstones (Turquoise, Quartz, Amazonite, Lapis Lazuli +)
- Swarovski Crystals
- Swarovski Crystal Pearls
- Sterling Silver, Copper, Bronze, Jewelry Brass, Stainless Steel, Anodized Aluminum)
- Precious Metal-Plated Pewter
- Epoxy Clay
- Watercolor Paper
- Preserved Leaves and Flowers
- Basic Beading
- Chain Maille
- Metal Stamping
- Hand Painting
I began making jewelry in 2007 after a two-year stint as editor of the jewelry collecting and fashion jewelry channels at a popular women's website, Bella Online, the second most popular of its kind on the web at that time. During my tenure, I learned a lot about gemstones and jewelry design. I interviewed (by telephone) several designers including Elvis Presley's personal jeweler, Lowell Hayes, the owner of The Hollywood Collection and the actor James Garner's daughter, Gigi Garner, among others.
I was soon sketching my own designs and launched my own little jewelry biz Silver Spirit Designs, naming it for a silver Harley purchased in the same year. I sold my mostly beaded creations at craft shows and in a retail crafter's showcase for a few years, then had to take a break to focus on other business interests. Soon, I was making jewelry again in my spare time, finding joy in the process of creating and working with my hands. I also learned some new techniques through Internet tutorials such as metal and wire work, chain maille, watercolor paper art jewelry, polymer clay and other techniques. By 2019, I was officially Susan Dorling Designs and launched my online store August 1, 2021.
My jewelry is made with vegan leather/suede, simulated Swarovski crystal pearls, synthetic fabrics vs silk. The materials used are sourced in Canada and the United States and produced ethically. My birch bark creations are made from naturally fallen white birch from Ontario and the cork is direct from Portugal, a lovely sustainable material that evokes the look and feel of leather.
At the heart of my creativity and passion for life is nature and all creatures great and small; my spirit animal is the hummingbird. My jewelry studio is in my home in rural Ontario on a park-like property and every day a walk in my park inspires and renews me. Over the past 25 years here, we have been visited by raccoons, deer, wolves, coyotes, bears and even a couple of cougars one year. I have been fortunate to have shared my life with 10 dogs, several cats, six Pekin ducks, Scrunchy Monkey the lovebird, a trio of budgies Rinky, Dinky and Doo, and a rescue pigeon named Snoopy Jack.
As a wildlife rehabber since the 1980s, I have raised and returned to the wild eight raccoons, three squirrels and over 100 birds from hatchlings; including finches, robins, sparrows and starlings. I invite you to visit my personal blog, Focus on Animals for animal news, delicious vegan and vegetarian recipes, poetry, art and more!
My mail order art business is The Phoenix Collection. The store was online from 2014 to 2018 and featured wildlife and equine art, First Nations art and home decor accents. If you are interested in seeing a catalog, give me a call at 1-877-498-6658.
I have worked as a freelance writer since 2000, with hundreds of articles published online, among them my most recent pet articles for Cuteness.com
“Joy is a spiritual practice. Carve out a few moments each day for something delightful, joyful, playful. Just for you, just because.” - Mary Davis, Author Every Day Spirit