Situated in a charming, renovated casita just off 7th Avenue in Tampa’s historic Ybor City neighborhood is the Singing Stone Gallery. Featuring the artistic designs of goldsmith Dan Balk, this unique jewelry and art gallery is a mecca for local, contemporary art that can’t be found anywhere else.
Dan Balk, hard at work in his gallery/working studio — Photo courtesy of Singing Stone Gallery
As you enter the gallery, prepare to be dazzled. Front and center are Balk’s designs: rings, pendants and bracelets made of silver and gold, intricately laced with semi-precious and precious jewels, each a piece of wearable art.
Balk describes his work as “miniature sculptures for personal adornment.” Lovingly created by hand from raw materials or using the lost wax casting method, Balk’s innovative designs are bold and contemporary, yet very comfortable. They're sure to make the lucky person donning the jewel feel like a walking art gallery.
Although he came to his profession relatively recently, Balk’s award-winning designs have been accepted to some of the most prestigious juried art shows in Florida. The gallery also functions as a working studio, and visitors to the gallery may be rewarded with a fascinating glimpse of the artist at work.
An original hand-crafted jewelry design by Dan Balk — Photo courtesy of Singing Stone Gallery
Balk and his wife Nataly established Singing Stone five years ago, and they've quickly become a big part of the arts scene in Ybor City by hosting events, participating in local fundraising efforts and nurturing new talent.
They've become well known for their Art on 19th Street events. These free live art events brings together all types of creative and talented individuals – from painters to musicians – for a fun street party.
In addition to designer jewelry, the Singing Stone features the work of local artists in a variety of different mediums, including ceramics, glass, photography and multi-media. Each piece is contributed by a member of their family of approximately 25 artists.
They also organize two or three art shows each year to showcase local artists. You never know what treasures you will find when you step through the door!
Jewelry-making lessons have also become an important part of the Singing Stone Gallery, and several of Balk’s apprentices’ work is now displayed alongside his own. That’s not to say you need to be an expert to take a class at Singing Stone. Many students come with no experience, but after a one-day class, walk away with a piece of art made with their own hands, the perfect gift for that special someone.
The Singing Stone Gallery is located in Tampa's historic district, Ybor City — Photo courtesy of Singing Stone Gallery
Throughout December, the gallery is hosting special couples jewelry-making classes, with a $50 holiday discount per pair. These festive private classes offer couples a unique opportunity to explore each other’s creative side, as they create a piece of jewelry or unique holiday ornament.
Classes end with a bit of seasonal cheer and complimentary offerings of hot cocoa, wine and holiday treats.
While you’re shopping this holiday season, be sure to stop by the Singing Stone Gallery. Balk’s jewelry designs range in cost from under $100 to several thousand dollars, depending on the complexity and materials involved. He also takes custom orders, and he's currently accepting orders for Christmas delivery.