We are excited to have Dawn Middleton and Dawn’s Designs Jewelry as our next Artist of the Month at our Frankfort Avenue store! Her work will be up tomorrow for the FAT Friday Trolley Hop on March 25 and will stay on display through the end of April. Her jewelry is perfect for Derby so stop by and pick up a beautiful necklace to enjoy a day at the races!
As a child, I remember being entranced by the organic and whimsical designs of the Earth. Paying homage to this in my craft brings me daily joy and great energy to my life, focusing and continually using that energy to create a company and grow a business that is flourishing.
Each creation I make comes from some unknown place, and sometimes I don’t know what I will create until I sit down at the bench and start to form a new piece of jewelry. Oftentimes I will be under a deadline and then ideas start coming.
For materials, I assemble natural stones, fine and sterling silver, bronze, brass, copper, and precious and semi-precious stones. Inspiration is all around me being in organic surroundings, and so it is easy bringing them into my designs.
Interestingly, it was Ford Motor Company that nurtured me early on. For 14 years, working in Ford’s body shop, part of that time as a welder. I left when the company downsized, and from there took personal responsibility for my own growth. I studied interior design for four years which helped me understand that I could produce artful objects by applying the shapes, colors and textures of nature to jewelry design.
This passion was enhanced through metal smithing classes. It all started with a desire to bring into this world something special. Being inspired by my natural surroundings, and my love of gardening, being one with nature, so my jewelry designs reflects that special part of me.
Handcrafting, actually using my hands, has always attracted me to metal smithing and to the making of jewelry pieces. When I light up the torch, design ideas flow to me as I go through the process, and inspiration spills out from my soul. I spend a lot of time ruminating and then I create. — Dawn Middleton