Design and Lifestyle Blog

Confidence, with Kaizen

The Kanji representation for kaizen, the idea of improvement.
Apparently, there is some dispute as to how the Japanese word  kaizen translates to the English.  I only recently became aware of the word while watching a cooking series, The Great British Baking Show.  In an episode of season 2 the psychologist/contestant named Kimberley Wilson was briefly interviewed after a less-than-perfect bake when she said (and I paraphrase here) “confidence with kaizen…feeling good about your efforts while maintaining constant improvement”.  And I looked up .

Sole Authorship ~ Soul Authorship

sole authorship means doing all the work!
Throughout my entire 43 years as a jewelry designer and manufacturer, I’ve practiced a process called sole authorship.  This means that for nearly every piece of jewelry that I make, I solely perform every aspect of its creation, from concept to final finish.  In today’s world, this is mostly an anachronism. Even most handmade jewelry items are created in a collaborative process these days.  One person does the design, another person or another shop .

Antique Style Jewelry: Made Better

Antique Style ring
These days there seems to be a huge interest in antique style jewelry that spans several stylistic periods. Antique Style: Turn of the 20th Century One of our stylistic favorites are the very detailed designs that were first made popular at the turn of the last century, the early 1900’s.  These styles were manufactured using a technique of die striking the designs from relatively thin pieces of sheet metal, usually platinum in that era.  .

Connection: Sense8 and The Handmaid’s Tale

Connection as Theme Within the plethora of trashy, hedonistic and often meaningless media, occasionally arises something that makes us pause and think.  That is a connection.  And they are sadly rare in our contemporary media culture. Two series recently caught our attention, and we connected to both.  “Sense8” and “The Handmaid’s Tale” both speak strongly to the concept of connection, and they do it from vastly different perspectives. The Handmaid’s Tale The version to .

A Time for Reflection, the Bench Alter

Bench Alter in workspace.
Sundays are a time for reflection and contemplation.  Even if one finds oneself in their workshop planning the next week of production, the tone of an otherwise lazy Sunday brings a thoughtful mood.  This past Sunday, as I was tinkering in my shop, my eyes landed on my bench alter. I’m not conventionally religious, more of an animist, or Buddhist, if anything, so I do have a small collection of things meaningful to me .

The Importance of Beauty (and Craftsmanship)

Beauty and Craftsmanship. Caitlin and Paola wearing Janus bracelets.
Happy New Year! 2018 will be a great year for Beauty and Craftsmanship at Gary Dawson Designs. There’s never a bad time to reflect on what gives meaning to our lives but the new year seems to compel us in that direction.  Serendipitously, as I was driving to my office the other day, starting my new year of design and custom work, I heard an NPR Ted Radio Hour that really set me afire .

Jewelry Care and Maintenance: Common Repairs

Jewelry Care, Jewelry Wear, Care and Maintenance burnishing
As mentioned in part one in this series on jewelry care, wear is normal.  And because it is, realistic expectations on both wear and the maintenance your precious metal jewelry will need is appropriate! Certainly, it is a reasonable expectation on the part of the consumer that the piece of jewelry will hold up for an extended time after purchase.  Unfortunately, while I can say with certainty that most manufactures in the industry are .

Jewelry Care and Maintenance: Part Two

jewelry care and maintenance Even these well built ring will require some care and maintenance
This post is a follow up to my previous article on the topic of Jewelry Care and Maintenance.  The first in this series discussed the idea that wear is normal since jewelry is worn on the body or clothing and has continuous contact with the environment that surrounds it. I focused mostly on the wear of metals in that article and will shift my focus now to gemstones, cleaning, and what I’ll call “field .

Jewelry Care and Maintenance: Part One

Jewelry Care, Jewelry Wear, Care and Maintenance burnishing
Wear is Normal One thing that defines jewelry is that it is worn as personal adornment.  On the body, or close to the body on clothing, it encounters nearly everything in your environment and like you, sometimes takes a beating. Both the metals and the gems in your jewelry are effected by wear.  All jewelry contacts clothing and/or skin. Rings and bracelets contact, and are effected by, many more things. Also, the precious metals .

Soft Square Ring Shape

Custom ring featuring a soft square ring shape.
I love this ring’s overall shape for its grace, comfort and practicality.  I wear a soft square ring! If you can turn your hand so you can see a finger end-on, you will see that you finger is not round, but more a square shape with rounded corners. Hence the soft square ring. This ring style will fit the contours of most fingers perfectly. Some people who have never worn a ring before find round .

Sustainable and Ethical Bling, Moissanite

Loose Moissanite in a 7.0 mm cushion cut
We have recently fielded many recent requests about, and have completed several projects using Moissanite, a white gem that is both sustainable and ethical. Accordingly, we are now proud to announce our affiliation with the Supernova Moissanite brand and our dealership status. What is Moissanite? Moissanite is a variety of silicon carbide, the second hardest natural mineral.  As a gemstone it is an exceptionally brilliant alternative to diamond that does not involve destructive extractive .