Painting of Daryl Thompson

 

I didn’t plan on being an artist or a wire artist when I was a kid. It just kind of happened. Everyone is influenced by someone whether it’s their parents or someone they meet later in life. I honestly don’t know where I would be if I haven’t met Denise and Daryl, two people who pretty much saved me.

Yes, I am inspired by Elon Musk, but that is very recent. Daryl is the one who taught me his side craft that was his creative outlet from the harshness of the music world. Daryl was a Grammy Award winning guitarist. He was born into the music industry.

 

Before I go into detail about his legendary music, let me introduce Daryl to you from my eyes. 

 


In 2007, I was in Atlanta walking through Little 5 Points trying to sell my art. I was broke, working part time and trying to make enough to pay more than just rent. 


I found myself in Elegance Boutique and met Denise and Daryl for the first time. The Daryl I met was kind, caring, and very informative about jewelry and gemstones. I felt at home from that first moment and knew that these two people were special.


Time passed and I became close to them both. Daryl needed a website and online presence for his music. I didn’t know he was a musician. I thought, “Okay cool. He can rock out,” I had no idea of the gem I found until I was typing up his music resume for the website and learned he was a Grammy winner whose father was a famous saxophonist. 

 

 

We had an awesome arrangement. They would pay me in beautiful gemstone jewelry and I would help get Daryl online. His Facebook Page is now run by his son to honor him (Daryl passed in 2014). Some of the great names Daryl has been on stage with include The Rolling Stones, Sinead O’Connor, Peter Tosh (think Bob Marley and the Wailers), Sly & Robbie, and Peter Gee just to name a few.

Daryl even worked with Matthew McConaughey back in 2009 to produce Mishka’s album, Above the Bones.

 

 

Over time, they told me that I was like a daughter to them. I’d been through a lot and both had been there for me. Daryl often gave out jewelry classes, but I didn’t have the extra funds to pay so I never took them. But I did buy wire and pliers and made a complete mess of them.

The one day, Daryl told me, ” You need to learn how to do this. You will build a business with it one day. I will teach you all that I know and you will surpass even my level,”

Daryl’s level was that of a master. In fact, everyone in the Little 5 Points area always referred to him as the Master. Other wire artists looked up to him. Sure, everyone had their own unique styles, but Daryl was able to transcend his jewelry from art into fine jewelry that would compete with Tiffany & Co.

 

Onyx bracelet in sterling silver designed by Daryl Thompson

 

Daryl’s Musical Resume

 

Daryl has worked on the following major Television commercials: 


McDonalds 

DiGiorno Pizza 

Windex (black crows spots) 

Kraft Macaroni and Cheese 

South African Airlines radio and TV spots 

And also many productions in New York, LA, Chicago, England, Jamaica, Germany, France, Switzerland, Denmark and Japan. 

 

Musical associations

 


Eddie harris 

Sam Rivers (Lazuli-Timeless Records) 

George Adams 

Ronnie Laws 

Robin Kenyatta 

David Murray (The Tip) 

Lee Konitz 

The Brecker Brothers (Heavy Metal Be-Bop) 

Rodney Franklin 

Gato Barbieri 

Dizzy Gillespie 

William Russo 

Charles Earland (“Coming to you live’) 

Robert Irving, III (Miles Davis) 

Grace Jones 

Yellow Man 

Buddy Miles 

Black Uhuru (Grammy award for “Anthem”) 

Peter Tosh (“Wanted Dread or Alive”, “Mama Africa”) 

Isaac Hayes (U-turn”) 

Koko Tahlor 

Sugar Blue 

John Lee & Gerry Brown (“Medusa” “Chaser” and “Brothers”) 

Narada Michael Walden 

Darryl Jones 

Ce Ce Penniston (“Finally”) Platinum 

To see the full list of albums Daryl contributed to, including Anthem (the one he won the Grammy on), click here.

 

Daryl doing loc jewelry.

 

Meeting Daryl changed me forever. I loved painting, but there are so many others who are better painters than I could ever be. It is the same with jewelry–however, designing jewelry is just a part of what I do. Not only do each of my pieces have a part of Daryl’s memory, but my goal is to remind people visually that they matter.

Daryl always told me: “Everyone has their own path to walk,” 

That was his mantra. Each of my jewelry pieces remind me of this as well as the fact that we all matter. He was right, jewelry design is profitable and you can make an honest living doing it. But it is also enjoyable. I love the feel of wire in my hands, the challenges of setting a stone in it’s frame and locking it in. And I love the final result when it’s finished.

Daryl is the reason I began wire wrapping.

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About the Author

Johnna Sabri is a mineral, gem and crystal collector and wire artist. She loves experimenting with different styles of wrapping and collecting gems and minerals. Her work has been modeled by GA State University students in one of their annual fashion shows.

Johnna has also served customers all around the world including Dubai, Finland, The Philippines, Australia, Canada, the UK, China, and Hong Kong as well as people in every US state.

She learned her craft from Grammy winning guitarist, Daryl Adonis Thompson, son of Eli “Lucky” Thompson, the saxophonist who played with Dizzy Gillespie and Isaac Hayes. Daryl was well known in the Little 5 Points Atlanta community as a master at his craft. Read more on Johnna here