Daniel is an experienced jewelry maker and teaching artist based in NYC. He’s a graduate from New York University Tisch School of the Arts and grew up with a Kindergarten teacher mom, so early childhood education has always been a passion of his! Daniel understands the importance of nurturing a child’s curiosity and creativity, and brings that energy to every one of his sessions. Read on to learn more about Daniel and his work as a jewelry making guru.
1. Hi Daniel! Where are you from and what brought you to New York City?
Hi all, I am from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and I moved to NYC to study Drama at New York University! I’ve been a Brooklyn local for a little while now applying skills I learned at NYU, like theatre, music and design, to child-care and after-school classes around the city.
2. What is your experience with kids?
My experience with children is first and foremost as an educator. I grew up in household of teachers, early childhood, E.S.L, College Prep, etc., and so throughout my life, my parents and older siblings had always taught the importance of nurturing a child’s curiosity and empowering their creativity and independence. I began teaching Shakespeare in summer courses to Middle schoolers, and have since expanded to Elementary and High School. Teaching Shakespeare, for me, was the catalyst for my passion in arts education.
3. When you’re booked for a Curated Care session, what is your process in terms of preparation/items you bring?
My process as a Kid Expert is entirely based on the child or children at hand. Every child has their own needs and passions and curiosities. And I think one of the great things about Curated Care is that all the kid experts “curate” what they bring to a session based on the child’s need. Be it friendship bracelets or magic tricks, a music lesson or a Harry Potter birthday party, we tailor our activities to your child: “the wand chooses the wizard.”
4. You teach jewelry making to 8 and 9 year olds on the Upper East Side in New York City. Tell us about that experience and the projects you do with your class.
The jewelry-making class at Nightingale-Bamford has been immensely rewarding! Working 2nd through 4th grade, we cover beading, weaving patterns, wire wrapping and more: from friendship bracelets to hand-set gemstone earrings. Last class, we made and decorated our own friendship bracelet looms and as we wove our bracelets on them, we talked about who we were grateful for in our lives, someone that we might a give friendship bracelet to, or someone we might teach to make a bracelet. The kids at Nightingale have been so excited to design their own jewelry, and I cannot wait to move forward into our next unit, earrings (for pierced and not pierced ears!).
5. If a family wants to book jewelry making lessons for their kiddo, what may a session in their home look like?
No experience necessary! There are jewelry making projects accessible to all age groups! Whether practicing fine motor skills through basic beading with young children or learning basic aspects of design and how to approach making both beautiful and functional metal jewelry with older age groups! I tailor every lesson to your child, ensuring that while a lesson can be challenging and engaging, it is never too difficult or frustrating for your child. With projects like Found Object Jewelry, I get them thinking outside the box, looking at the world around them as what they can create from it. I bring all the supplies, craft wire, pliers, beads, etc., and while I come with my own designs for them to emulate and learn techniques from, in my lesson, your child is the designer.
6. What do you think is the benefit in hiring a Kid Expert vs a traditional babysitter?
It’s a network of educator and artists! We come in excited to engage your child! It’s childcare and it’s enrichment. There are certainly babysitters elsewhere that will engage your child or teach them but at Curated Care, that’s an expectation. With Kid Experts, you just take your pick what your child gets to engage in this evening: poetry, dance, rap, design, tutoring, and more.
7. What are you most looking forward to in the future?
Two things in particular come to mind. The first, I looked forward to witnessing the growth in the kids I work with long term. To seeing them grasp technique and skills in jewelry making or guitar or theatre, to the point that they feel ownership in the craft, and that they can create the thing that they imagine. The second, to be continually surprised by the new children that I meet, by their engagement, by the way they think and approach a task. One of the best things about being an educator and an artist is the way kids inspire me, engage me, and even change the way I think; I looked forward to being impressed, being inspired.
You can message or book Daniel for a jewelry making lesson/session here.