…for the design of custom jewelry is everywhere.
It may come at unexpected moments and from unexpected directions. Color, texture, heft, feel…the smooth curve of beach worn granite…a moment, an era, a lifetime…a true love.
The thing that draws me to expression in precious metals through custom jewelry is the adaptability of these metals to most any design consideration. From moonlit tropical beach scenes to a Hopi wedding shawl or ancient Chinese pottery designs, virtually anything that interests you may serve as a starting point. This can include lifestyle, hobbies, shared activities, or aesthetic attractions. For one client who grew up surfing near Dana Point in California we depicted the way waves break at that location. For another, a shooting star over a moonlit mountain lake.
Tell Me Your Stories
Designs can be boldly representational, such as a specific rosebud, or architectural element or symbol, or subtly suggestive like the vague forms clouds make in the summer sky. Precious metals such as gold, platinum, and silver can do it. Anything is possible. Tell me your stories, and I’ll make something special for you or someone you love, and build your own special meaning into the object we create.
Just what is Custom Jewelry?
Our specialty here at Gary Dawson Designs is “Full Custom Design” as defined by the Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America. (MJSA)
MJSA’s Council of Custom Jewelers, of which Gary is a founding member and the current chair, recognizes three tiers to custom work within our industry.
Full Custom Design: A jewelry design made from scratch specifically for a customer.
Semi-Custom Design: Existing designs that have been modified to alter their shapes or appearance.
Made to Order: Existing designs manufactured by request, modified only by sizing and choice of metal and/or gemstone.
We do however, have a line of existing designs that we frequently modify for specific clients so our work may also fall into both other categories, depending on the specific project.
Our Full Custom Design Process
We may utilize office visits, email, phone conversations, online conferencing, and digital imaging to communicate frequently during the entire process. Simple sketching may be useful in the beginning but generally, after establishing a design direction I will either hand carve in wax, or (more frequently) create in a CAD application, a 3-dimensional prototype for your inspection. This inspection may be done by visiting our downtown Eugene, OR office, or utilize digital imaging via email. Alternatively, if you are one of our many distant clients, I can send you a durable model for your personal inspection. With the three-dimensional prototype, you will be able to really get a “feel” for the object we are making. In addition, I can normally mount any gemstone that we are incorporating in the design into model so you can actually see how the gem will work in the design.
Because we work together on concept, the first viewing of your model may (and often does) result in approval of the design. Sometimes however, we will get close but perhaps not exactly what you have visualized. At that point your honest feedback will help us revise the model to better suit your vision. We will go through this feedback loop as many times as it takes to arrive at the final revision. My flat design and production fee essentially buys as much time as it takes to make it right for you.
Upon approval of the design, through the magic of the lost-wax casting process, the final model revision actually becomes the finished metal object. What you see in the model is truly what you get in the finished project – be it gold, silver, platinum, or one of our new alternative materials which range from stainless steel to ceramic.
When the handcrafted design is approved for completion, we can calculate the finished price for your project by implementing a volumetric analysis of the object. Please see our pricing and policies page for further info on this topic.
Stress Free Custom JewelryMany of our clients come to us committed to the idea of a personal project, such as wedding or commitment rings, but have not yet arrived at a specific idea. We can still make it easy for you!
One technique that may help would be to initially to consider the design process one of elimination. Sometimes it is easier to know for sure what you don’t want than what you do want! Answering a few very basic questions may prove helpful and I like to think about both lifestyle and aesthetics in this initial stage.
"Gary is an internationally recognized goldsmith with over 40 years of working closely with his clients. Nearly everyone he has worked with over that time has walked away with something to treasure, feeling the design process to be both enjoyable and rewarding."
Your Jewelry: Just in Time
On average, our custom process takes from 6-8 weeks. It can vary greatly however depending on a variety of factors including but not limited to complexity, your preferred payment options and in some cases, availability of gem materials.
I invite you to request a quote by either calling 541-729-2531 or filling out our Custom Quote Request Form.
Thank you soooo much. This is absolutely stunning...STUNNING!!! So much so that I am moving up my proposal date :) You have been a pleasure to work with and your vision is amazing. I gave you an idea on what I wanted and you molded it into something so beautiful.
Thank you for keeping in contact with me throughout the process. I have looked at it about 20 times and I just received it. It will look even more beautiful on my bride to be. It glistens, it glows, it really somewhat mesmerized me. I will try to put a review on your website, or feel free to use this email and paste it on all your social media (I don't use social media much). I really couldn't be happier, I am just giddy right now."
~ Jaedon Emery
Your diamond weighs 2.26 ct. SI1 Clarity and O color. As we’ve discussed this diamond is from an era of diamond mining and cutting that makes it unique in a couple of ways. I love sourcing these types of gems! The culet facet identifies the cut to be around 1910, not a firm date. Many of the diamonds in circulation during that and earlier eras were from a mine in South Africa called the “Cape” mine, which had a body color which was considered pleasing at the time. This diamond will be particularly beautiful, much more so in my opinion than more modern, colorless stones, in candle light or other slightly dim lighting situations. Note the dispersion, the play of color that comes from the gem in those lighting situations.
I hope this ring is as well-received as it was fun to make. I really loved your concept of intertwining hands, holding the symbol of your relationship, that gorgeous diamond. When I showed this to my wife, she noted that the way the prongs are situated on the round gem, they may, at a glance, look a bit like a heart. ~ Gary D