Thanksgiving in June? You Bet!
The 7 prolific Blueberry bushes at the Gary Dawson Designs studio are just beginning to ripen. If these were wine grapes we’d call it veraison, but for our blueberries we call it Thanksgiving in June!
We’ll be eating these for the next couple of months, first in handfuls right from the bush, and later in cobblers hot from the stove. And there will be enough to freeze for eating in pies for Thanksgiving, and smoothies for many winter mornings. Talk about being thankful… This is one of our most grateful moments of the year! Living in Oregon has its rewards.
Thanksgiving in June, But Christmas in July?
Well, sorta. At least we start thinking about Christmas in July here at the studio. We tend to get very busy in those few short months leading up to Christmas. And for this reason, we are going to offer something special this year for our astute clients who can think ahead a little bit. We will be offering a 15% discount for the Design & Production fee of any custom order, initiated by deposit, until the 15th of July. This gives us ample time to work carefully with you to insure the perfect special gift. And it takes the pressure off you since you will be secure in the knowledge that your custom work will be finished in plenty of time for the holiday! Simply mention “Blueberriess” when you place your order to receive this discount!
Our custom fees vary by project. Generally, simpler projects carry a Design & Production fee of US$350, more complex designs typically start at US$750 and challenging designs can go much more than that. So, your savings by thinking ahead this year will range from around $50 to as much as $400 or more.
Just about anything goes!
This year we have new services. We take great pride in our standard process of “sole authorship”, meaning that we do everything on most precious metal projects, from concept, through casting, cleanup, gemstone setting…right down to final polish. (Or texturing, if you prefer). And now we have added to our repertoire, working with outside Additive Manufacturing facilities, such that we can produce 3D printed objects in many more materials. From Stainless Steel to Porcelain, we can get it done for you.
In those cases, we still perform the design work working as closely with you as we always have, but then send the CAD file out to be printed.
Start your project today! Contact us here.
Magic in the Process
I’ve been casting precious metals for over 40 years and have a deep understanding of how it works on levels mechanical, chemical, and metallurgical. Metal density and flow temperatures, spruing and gating, I have even researched my own way to mix investment for optimal results with a variety of materials. And still, on a gut level, it remains something akin to magic. Transformational…literally.
Earth, Fire, Water, Air…All present and necessary in the casting process as a carved wax or 3D printed plastic model is transformed into solid gold…or silver, or platinum. Still blows me away and I hope it always will.
Magic in the Connection
The magic doesn’t stop there. Or begin there for that matter. Another very magical part of what I do is connect. I participate in some of the most important events in the lives of the people I work with. Relationships, weddings, anniversaries, births, deaths, and many other transition points in their lives are celebrated, or memorialized, or remembered by the jewelry I make. Often perfect strangers when first met, my clients share, sometimes confide, details of their lives no one else knows. I respect that. And it allows me to build aspects into the jewelry I make for them that would not otherwise be possible. Serial intimacy at its best…
Magic in Understanding
Understanding process is very important. We need to know how to go about what we do, each of us in our own way. And understanding the connections we make and build upon is even more important in that without context, what we do is largely irrelevant. In a recent presentation in front of 170 of my industry peers I made the point that body adornment may be one of the few, if not the only, essential differentiators for defining what it is to be human. If this is true, I think it is for both the statement it allows us to project and the connection it helps us make with our fellow humans.
I’m a screamer. Well, maybe yeller is more accurate. But I have passion about every project that I do and sometimes it comes out in the process!
This past weekend, we (mostly I but with critical intermittent help) installed the last major component in a bathroom remodel that has taken about three months of Sundays to complete, maybe more. Not that all that time was spent working. I think it took most of a month after everything else was finished to get the beautiful wooden countertop made. This was after we finally decided on something that a) we liked and b) we could afford.
I used to yell occasionally when I was learning to make jewelry, when solder wouldn’t flow, when I inadvertently melted something I was trying to solder, when I burnt myself…
Yes, that happens.
I like to consider myself “handy”. What that really means is that I’m too stubborn to hire competent help with household projects, or maybe too cheap. I gleefully embark on a project, not really knowing how to do all the steps, but confident that I can learn along the way. Thank Buddha for YouTube, right?
Something I’ve often said in discussions about “what is art” is that a plumber who can create a water delivery (and drain) system with no leaks is an artist. So yesterday, after spending a full day on a job that I thought was at most a half-day project, I was an artist. We were artists! Persistence on my part, and tolerance and help on the part of my spouse won the day. But not until sufficient yelling had taken place…Um, I mean, once we got passion for the project!
“This shit is so poorly engineered”, he yells…” Agghhhhh, poorly engineered!”
If you’ve ever worked under a small bathroom sink, on your back, trying to connect a delicate water management system with tools more suitable for either jewelry making or building demolition, you know what I mean.
After looking at the instructions though, it went fairly well.
Fortunately, with over 40 years of designing and making jewelry nearly every day, I tend not to scream much when I’m doing my jewelry art. But the passion remains…I yell loudly, “Fresh Jewelry” when a project is complete.
Speaking of fresh jewelry, I’d love to work with you on a fantastic piece of custom wearable art. Jewelry is a statement, part of the “personal brand” for which you have passion. It takes passion to conceive and execute these things, and I promise not to yell.