Design and Lifestyle Blog

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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 .

Finding a Voice, The Beginner’s Mind

Have you ever tried to broach a topic with someone in which they considered themselves “expert”? Probably. And you may have experienced some frustration in that conversation…am I right? And how about the frustration that you sometimes experience with yourself when you try to learn something new, especially if it is not entirely new, but is an extension of something you already know. Is there any connection between these two experiences? Maybe. That thread .

Green Sustainable and Conflict-Free Jewelry

A wise professor of mine once said to his social science class, “Every dollar you spend is a vote, so watch closely how you spend your money.” I have tried to live this credo throughout my life and thankfully it is getting somewhat easier to do. Not that many big companies are getting more transparent, mind you…there are just more tools available to watch how your money is working. So, how, you may ask, .

Free Beer, Tomorrow! Get on Bike and Go…

With apologies to Mike I’m making this about the food in yet another “Get on Bike and Go” episode. I’m supposed to keep this blog “relevant” in the eyes of Google to attract clients to my custom jewelry design website, Gary Dawson Jewelry Design. And I’m pretty sure I’ve had a problem following rules since my earliest memories of toddling off to the outhouse so I’ll just go with the Free Beer Tomorrow theme .

Finding a Voice, the CAD Challenge: Custom Work

My recent post, “Finding a Voice”, seemed to be a topic of interest based on the response I received over various media. It is both encouraging and delightful to have good feedback and thoughtful comments, thank you everyone! One of the more interesting comments was through LinkedIn, from Dan Christie… ”Nice article Gary. It is difficult as a custom designer, as you are always finding someone else’s voice. The plus side is, it makes .


We all need it. To refresh, renew and revitalize ourselves is an often overlooked necessity for optimal performance. How to do it is probably different for each individual and at least somewhat contingent on location and available time. For some it may mean going to a movie, for others, a hard workout. And the process can take minutes, days or months, depending on a lot of factors. Here at Gary Dawson Jewelry Design we .

Finding a Voice, the CAD Challenge

  Many, if not most artists are encouraged to “find their voice” early in their career, especially if they begin their career in an academic venue. Finding a voice in that context usually means discovering, or adopting a recognizable style and then working exclusively within that style. This, they are told, is the road to commercial success. A rare few manage to establish themselves to the point that they can then stretch that style, .

Design Generation CAD

There may be more than one might expect in design generation of even the most simple of designs.  This ring design project for my local clients Sam and Maureen starts in the CAD application “Rhinoceros” with what are called “formers” comprised of mostly open and closed curves around which the ring will be formed.  This first process image depicts the most basic initial former, a circle that is the diameter of a specific ring .

Weather Drought and Work Deluge!

I have to admit that sometimes it’s hard to stay in the office or workshop when the weather is so nice! We’ve been experiencing a pretty fantastic spring here in the Willamette Valley of Oregon. A concern however is that with very little snow-pack in our Cascade Mountains, our ongoing drought could mean a bad fire-season later. The work deluge of really fine jobs that are rolling in through Gary Dawson Jewelry Design is .