Design and Lifestyle Blog

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To Be Human

Recent news items have challenged the very idea of what it means to be human. Apparently, it has been determined by anthropologists that several different ape species have entered, and have perhaps been for some time, in their own version of what is referred to the “stone age” in the human developmental timeline. Since tool using and tool making have long been considered the very definition of “human”, is it time to consider how .

Set Your Brain

I had to be up very early recently to make it to a bridal show in which I was displaying my jewelry designs. As I sat with my cup of coffee, enjoying the quiet of the early morning, I heard my step-son’s alarm go off. It ceased its dreadful whine for a bit and then went off again…and this cycle repeated several times until finally, his Mom went in and woke him up. I .

Evolution to What?

Evolution.  Does it mean abandonment of tradition? I think both yes and no, and sometimes that duality leads to clarity and sometimes conflict. World politics cry out for radical change. If you don’t believe it then you must either be one of the 1% or live under a rock. In that change begins with yourself, reevaluating personal priorities seems quite appropriate these days, it probably always did. These ideas formed and churned inside me .

CES2016 The Best of Times, The Worst of Times

With apologies to Charles Dickens, I sum up my experience at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES2016) in Las Vegas with the impression that it fully represents the reality of the quote from the opening of “A Tale of Two Cities”. This occurs both on a personal and a broader level. On a personal level, I deplore Las Vegas, and all of the exploitation that it represents, all of the time. And yet I .

Stop Saying Foodie

In the Jan-Feb issue of Saveur magazine, Editor Adam Sachs makes a plea to which I can relate…”Stop Saying Foodie.” While his divergent rant about the label being both self-infantilizing and elitist may seem at odds with itself in some manner it brought to mind an epiphany I had during this last year. Alysia and I were in Cuenca, Ecuador, in an indigenous marketplace (Mercado 9 de Octubre) eating a late lunch comprised of .

Sell Out, or Challenge the Concept

There are many excuses to sell out and I think people routinely do. They sell out to mundane or even abusive relationships in exchange for stability. They sell out to jobs they hate and dictators they fear. But where does that fine line lie between compromise and selling out? Segue to jewelry industry relevancy… I have long been fascinated by what I perceive as a division among jewelry designers between what I will call .

Defining Custom Design

What do you think of when you hear the term “Custom Design”? The Oxford Dictionary defines custom (the adjective) as follows: “Made to order for a particular customer…” This seems to reflect the usage in contemporary culture but provides for a broad and therefore vague meaning in my mind. As an example of what I think about when I use the term custom. I’ll relate it to the service I provide to my custom .

Finding a Voice, Evolution

If you search this blog using the term “Finding a Voice” you will see that I’ve written a lot lately under that title.  I’ve spoken to the challenge of re-finding a voice with new tools, (specifically CAD), the idea of expressing one’s voice while doing custom work, and explored helpful tools in finding a voice in the “beginner’s mind.” Then, finally, I made a challenge to those seeking a voice in a recent post, .

Why Wait?

“Why wait?” we ask ourselves, when asked to stand in line anywhere. Why should I have to wait all this time (several seconds usually) for this file to load? Why wait for anything? Increasingly, we are a culture of instant gratification. We need, yes, really need people and doors and machines and circumstance of all manner to respond to our whims with a mere wave of our hand or short verbal command. But wait…is .

Finding a Voice, Why Conform?

Whether it be in how you design, manufacture and market jewelry as a maker or how you select, purchase and wear jewelry as a consumer, finding  a voice, and using it, is a great way to stand apart. Do you really want to be thought of as part of some large, conforming group? Why Conform? I have many continuing thoughts on this topic which I will be sharing as I work through them, but this .

Work in Progress Aquamarine

I have for you today a work in progress at Gary Dawson Jewelry Design…An Aquamarine cabochon set! Since so much of my time is spent on custom work, this project represents a rare opportunity for me to take some time to indulge in making something that will be offered for sale from my accumulation of hand-selected fine gems and my personal perspective on designs to enhance them. I have always really liked the velvety .

Jewelry Technique: Cast or Fabricated?

Recent decades have brought much new technology to jewelry technique in both design and manufacturing. Still, it is probably safe to say that one traditional distinction holds on the manufacturing side…that of cast vs. fabricated metal jewelry. Sometimes these techniques are combined in a single piece of jewelry, but let’s examine each separately. In the simplest terms, fabricated jewelry is formed from sheet and wire by cutting, bending, forging and joining metal into a .