Dana Ruth is owner of Modern Metalsmith at Rockland’s North End

Metalsmith works out of tiniest little jewelry store in Rockland

Mon, 01/30/2023 - 8:30am

    ROCKLAND—With fewer than 200 square feet on 497 Main Street, Dana Ruth, a self-taught metalsmith and studio jeweler, has everything she needs to make her art and she couldn’t be any more pleased to be in Rockland, Maine.

    At the height of the pandemic, she packed her dog in her car and traveled to Maine from Atlanta, Georgia, where she lived for the last 22 years. She drove with her sights set on Acadia, and along the winding, small-town roads leading up north, she fell in love with Maine.

    Even though she’d made a nice, successful life in Atlanta, she said it never felt like home, and the “unhealthy constant state of haggard hurry and hustle” had worn her down.

    “I took that epic road trip just spending time here, when I left Maine, it did not leave me,” she said. “There’s a peace and pace to this place that I needed.”

    Rockland had been her favorite town to visit.

    “While I couldn't put my finger on it, I knew it was special,” she said.  “I had walked right by the storefront one day and could never have imagined that I would be moving in three months later, opening my flagship tiny store!”

    Called Modern Metalsmith, her store sits on the quiet side of the north end next to Fiore.

    “After 16 years in Atlanta, as a working/teaching community jewelry fabrication studio + supply, I relocated my atelier to the tiniest little store you've ever seen,” she said.

    The store has enough room for a jewelry counter, a narrow working space in back, and a small sink. Open the basement door, step carefully down the wonky stairs, and you’ll come into an even tinier workshop with several worktables jammed with various tools and supplies, where Ruth makes all of her hand-crafted jewelry and repairs.

    From hand tools to torches, saw blades to casting crucibles—she’s got everything she needs to goldsmith and make her magic.

    Dana Ruth works primarily as a goldsmith making rings, bracelets, necklaces, and custom pieces. Her personal aesthetic is one-of-a-kind, rustic, refined jewelry.

    “I make small-batch hand-crafted pieces; I don’t work with platinum and diamonds,” she said.

    In fact, she offers a couple of interesting services. The first is ethical wedding bands, which are crafted from Moissanite or lab-grown diamonds, luxurious sustainable alternatives to traditional diamonds. The second service is permanent bracelets; welding a dainty handmade 14k gold chain to join around one’s wrist permanently without a clasp.  Although, they can be removed if needed. Spouses, couples, and families often choose matching styles to celebrate their bond. Beyond that, she also offers repairs, online classes, and tutorials.

    “I am thrilled to join the Rockland Main Street business community and proud to serve my local community and beyond with my craft and trade services,” she said.

    For more information visit https://modernmetalsmith.com

    Kay Stephens can be reached at news@penbaypilot.com