Dustin has always been drawn to one form of jewelry making or another. As a teen, she worked at a bead store during a time when her long love of body piercing took a firm hold. In her late teens she accepted an apprenticeship for piercing under Ken Coyote and was simultaneously working at Dakota Steel in Soquel, CA doing quality control of body jewelry, a job that she credits for her overly critical eye and attention to detail. During Dustin’s piercing career, she worked in shops in California, Texas and Tennessee as well as overseas in Australia. She attended the San Francisco based Fakir Body Piercing Intensive basic course in ‘96 and the advanced in ‘98. In addition, Dustin has managed piercing studios, worked at an organic body jewelry company and was an instructor at the Fakir Intensives for fifteen years. She feels fortunate to have learned from and worked with many inspirational piercers who have helped her grow in her journey, push the boundaries while maintaining responsibility and taught her to always look at things with a fresh eye. This variety of experience and influence helps her translate her unique designs into well functioning jewelry for body piercings.
Dustin is a fan and collector of many types of body modification. In ‘97 she was featured on the cover of Fakir’s Bodyplay magazine for having split her tongue herself in '96 and gained credit for being the first person known to have done the now popular modification. Dustin has also accumulated many hours of tattoo work, including one underneath a fingernail, various piercings, brands, implants, scarification and always has plans in the works for more.
Becoming a Jeweler
Needing a change of pace and discovering an interest in law, Dustin started working on a paralegal degree at Austin Community College in 2007. She took a break from classes after several semesters and decided to bribe herself back into school with a jewelry class, which renewed her interest in making jewelry and derailed the paralegal pursuit. She found herself combining her two worlds of body piercing and jewelry design. Dustin's focus is on pieces for stretched ears and other piercings, but she also creates more traditional jewelry from time to time.
Dustin finds inspiration for her designs in many things. Dreams,shapes in nature, the ocean, antiques, art, decay and in the materials she works with are all sources for her ideas. She enjoys doing her own take on piercing jewelry like the industrial bar, daith hearts and double daith pieces, while trying to improve on the function of these pieces. She tries to find better ways of doing things which is evident in designs like her saddle hooks which address the need for comfort, providing larger surface areas to support weighty dangles without adding significant weight themselves. Dustin loves discovering new methods of jewelry making that she hadn’t tried before and testing the possibilities of materials. Her designs tend to be as vivid, inventive and random as her imagination, resonating with something deep inside her. She loves the magic of lost wax casting, playing with anodization, designing jewelry that addresses the particular needs body piercing has, seeing her jewelry ideas come to life and watching the reaction others have to her jewelry.
In other walks of life, Dustin loves Halloween, enjoys riding her motorcycle, drinking obscene amounts of tea, collecting intricate pop up books, beekeeping, gardening, traveling, camping, fishing, building things, fixing things, breaking things and burning things. Currently residing in Austin, Texas and loving life.
Past Piercing Studios Include
Pierced Out, San Jose, Ca
Curiosa, Santa Cruz, Ca
Staircase, Santa Cruz, Ca
Obscurities, Dallas, Tx
Diablo Rojo, Austin, Tx
Icon, Nashville, Tn
Polymorph, Sydney Australia
Primitive, Perth Australia