Design and Lifestyle Blog

Long-Term Relationships: A Platinum Ring Story

Platinum sapphire ring
A ring I made over 16 years ago recently came back to me for sizing and got me to thinking about long-term relationships. Karen Russo, the owner of the ring, is a local (Eugene, OR) figurative ceramic sculptor.  Here are a couple of her pieces. Check out more of her work here!  I’ve known her and her husband, Nick since 1994 according to my first record of them in my database.  Karen tells me .

How to Choose a Custom Jeweler

Choose a Custom Jeweler for their design ability!
Certainly, I hope this article will lead you to choose Gary Dawson Designs as your custom jeweler.  Why would I write an article that would advise you to choose a custom jeweler from my many competitors? I may have my reasons to be generous, “We all do well when we all do well.”, right?…read on. So, why would you pick me over any of the other custom jewelers available to you both locally and .

Like Great Sex: A Camping Story

Like Great Sex, you want to get more of a place like this.
It doesn’t matter if it’s been 10 days or 10 minutes, I think most people probably have some version of the thought, “Why did I wait so long to do this?” after great sex. Sex is calming, inspiring, and healthy and we should all probably have it more often.  And only because what happens in camp stays in camp, 🙂 this will be more about not waiting for good things than it will be .

Who Ya Gonna Trust?

trust the render
Trust your instinct?…maybe.  And right now I’m not talking about who to trust to make your custom jewelry.  Let’s assume that you’ve already found someone, or a company, that will communicate well, and will complete your project in a timely manner at a fair price.  You have started a project with someone that embodies professionalism. The next phase will likely be for the designer to show you a rendering of one, or several design .

Sunday Breakfast, Slow Cooked Bacon & Crêpes Sauvages

Sunday Breakfast Crêpes Sauvages
Anyone who knows me at all knows I enjoy a good meal and I particularly enjoy my time preparing good meals.  After a day of making jewelry wearing the Gary Dawson Designs hat, I like to play in my kitchen!  This past Sunday breakfast was no exception.  Slow is the way to cook bacon, BTW.  On a Sunday, you can have a reasonably low heat and take the good 15-20 minutes it takes to .

Value, Price and Peppers

Peppers provide value in my cooking!
We all want value for our hard-earned dollars. But just what is value?  I think many people equate price alone with value.  I’d like you to consider that those things are not always the same. Low Price Good Value Low price and value can exist together.  I shop at a small community market where I know I can trust the food.  They stock mostly organic and they label conspicuously.  One of the first places .

Jim Harrison, Pride, and Lasciviousness

Smith River in California
As I lay inside the bathroom vanity I watch intently as the first gallon or two of water flow into and out of the newly installed sink through Ikea-designed plumbing.  I smile as I observe myself taking a lot of pride in seeing no leaks and immediately wonder if Jim Harrison ever had prideful moments like that. Did Harrison, one of my favorite authors, ever install an Ikea sink?  And if he did, did .

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 .