“I enjoy the solitude of Maine winters and working in my window-filled studio on snowy days.”
— Denise Dion-Sullivan
“The sea is my greatest influence and inspiration,” says Denise Dion-Sullivan, owner of Denise Dion Designs. She designs jewelry out of her home studio in Kennebunk, Maine. Denise walks along local beaches searching for sea glass, beach stones, and other natural elements that the sea washes ashore to create her simply stated pieces. “I follow my muse – always looking for something new to explore.”
Denise grew up on the southern coast of Maine in the Kennebunk area. She left Maine to study psychology at the University of South Florida in Tampa. While in Florida, Denise worked as an Art and Play therapist with children, fueling her love of art. She then took a teaching job in New York City, eventually becoming the director of the private preschool. After 10 years of living in New York City and missing the ocean, Denise moved back to Maine in 1992. “We moved back to Maine to give our children more space to play and to experience a less hectic lifestyle,” said Denise. Once back in Maine, she began collecting sea glass with her children. Her collection of sea treasures grew, and in 2008, Denise Dion Designs was born.
Currently, Denise works part-time for LearningWorks as the site coordinator for an after-school STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) program. When she’s not at school, you’ll often find Denise tucked away in her home studio working on her next batch of jewelry. “I enjoy the solitude of Maine winters and working in my window-filled studio on snowy days.”
Denise dabbles in many different forms of art, but especially enjoys designing. She not only designs jewelry, but also uses her skills to design in her home and outdoors while landscaping. She continues to experiment with new techniques and equipment. Her jewelry reflects her varied interests, mixing elements found on the shore with silver, brass, beads, and baubles. “95 percent the metals and components I use in my designs are sourced in the USA. Each sea glass piece is authentic sea glass, tumbled by the Atlantic Ocean. I love working with even the smallest pieces of sea glass to create something beautiful.”
Using high-quality charms, Denise combines sea glass, stones, and ceramic, all shaped by the ocean, to create simple but elegant jewelry. “I find meaning in creating something beautiful from something that was discarded (like bottles). I love that each piece is one-of-a-kind in shape. That alone gives me a challenge to design something unique.”