First Friday includes a visit by Luminita Hamilton of Dover, whose jewelry has garnered fans across the state and region. Other First Friday events include live music, artisans, an exhibit opening and a winter coat drive.


Luminita Hamilton has been creating jewelry since she found out she was no good as a manicurist in fourth grade. As a student at North Dover Elementary School, she was tasked with starting a business as a class project. When she realized she didn’t have the skill to paint nails, she started creating jewelry.

Her skills have developed and the materials have changed, but her passion for jewelry hasn’t. Hamilton will be at Forney’s Ltd. during this month’s First Friday, from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 1.

Those stopping by Forney’s will get a glimpse of Hamilton’s work, most of which is done in sterling silver and stones. One of her favorite things to work with are geodes, which include quartz, agate and amethyst, and their smaller counterparts, baby geodes.

“I like that they’re made from the earth, they’re organic, not man-made,” she said. “It’s rare to see and I like to inform people of other stones other than diamonds and rubies. I like the roughness of it, but it can still be beautiful at the same time.”

Hamilton has a bachelor of fine arts in metals and jewelry from Arcadia University, and spent six months studying in Glasgow, Scotland. While there, she learned new techniques that made her work more efficient. Her time there also taught her to think through her designs, to research and have a reason behind the pieces she was creating.

“I would always go with my gut and go with my first one [before], but to actually think through the ideas, it made my brain hurt. It made me think through all the possibilities.”

First Friday guests will see the results of all that contemplation at Forney’s. Owner Ami Leaming has been a long-time fan of Hamilton’s. The two met while Leaming was an assistant field hockey coach and encouraged Hamilton’s jewelry making, even selling some small pieces when Hamilton was just a teen. Now that her skills have developed, Hamilton is finding success in the region with her trademark silver and stones, and also personalized wedding jewelry made with Swarovski crystals.

Hamilton’s work will get a wider audience in the coming months through the donation of her jewelry to silent auctions at the Dover Art League’s Paint the Town event and the Celebration of Tourism at the Air Mobility Command Museum.

“I guess a small state is a good place because it’s a small state and people talk,” Hamilton said.

First Friday includes live musicians, artists, and this month, a coat drive. Lee Turner, owner of Fly 365, is chairing the October First Friday, and a winter coat drive to assist needy residents. The goal is to collect 365 new or slightly used but clean coats through October. Turner will match contributions of up to 20 coats from his store, and other merchants are offering discounts to those who donate coats. The coats will be donated to area shelters and organizations in need.

First Friday runs from 5 to 7 p.m. and is free, unless otherwise noted. Most merchants offer free refreshments and many offer discounts.

The following is the line-up of entertainment and venues:

Federal Street:

Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal St.: Arts Connect-ED, Holy Cross opening reception from 2 to 4:30 p.m. Celebrate talented youth by being the first to look at the installment of local school children’s artwork. The featured pieces were created by students of Holy Cross Elementary School of Dover.

Loockerman Street:

Performing at large: Del Tech Terry Campus Hammerin’ Hawks Drum Line perform throughout downtown Bel Boutique: “Hats Off to the Brits Tea Party!” High tea served. Delaware Made: Book Signing by author James Hannah, author of five books on the Delaware Bays. Dover Art League: Artist Noreen Taylor will exhibit her work and discuss theorem painting at 5:30 p.m. Members themed show on display, continues Oct. 29. Dover Newsstand: Tommy Little, Esq. discusses his book “A Warrior’s Tale” and his near death experience. Floridella Handbags and Accessories: Award-winning photographer Charlotte Ward. Forney’s: Jewelry artisan Luminita Hamilton. Forney’s Too: Carolyn Disler will host a Troll Bead Trunk Show and discuss the history and meaning behind Troll Beads. Partners in Design: Musician Aaron Taylor and a holiday preview open house. The Golden Fleece Tavern: Musicians James Witherite and Brian McDaniels on keyboard from 6 to 8 p.m., standup comedy from New York from 8 to 10 p.m. XANADAVE: The Three Sisters Artisans with jewelry by Jill Cravens and Jamie Melvin and gourd painting by Jennifer Wooleyhand.

Governors Avenue:

Beyond Dimensions: Guitarist and singer/songwriter Rick Hudson For Dreamers Gallery: “The Art of Fall Harvest” samplings

For more information about the coat drive, call Lee Turner at 302-883-3766. For more information about First Friday activities, call the Downtown Dover Partnership at 678-2940.