Jennifer Dawes' launch her of her line in 2000, Dawes Design, has brought her to the forefront as one of the main proponents of sustainably responsible jewelry. She creates pieces that are magical to wear.
Dawes work, hand-made, fabricated and finished at her studio in rural Sonoma County, California, combines her love of ancient civilizations with what is current and relevant in culture and design. Dawes explains, “I try to let the material speak for itself. I strip the designs back to their essential components; in doing so, my pieces become very feminine, subtle and organic. I have built a consumer base that resonates with the simplicity of my work, enabling individuals to combine and collect styles from my different collections to express their own individual tastes, desires and lifestyles.”
Before launching her line brand, Dawes attended a fine arts program with an emphasis in Metalsmithing. “The moment I began touching and feeling metal, I had a profound understanding of what I wanted to do with my life,” she explains. “Learning how to manipulate this hard, shiny material was like magic to me; I have been passionate about it ever since. My hands have to physically manipulate and fabricate in order for the ideas to emerge out of the metal. It’s the physical aspect of the material that is so intriguing to me.”
Dawes evolution into an international award-winning Couture designer has been two-fold. And has taken place almost simultaneously.
Originally her collection had a more geometric feeling to it. The more confident Jennifer became as a goldsmith, the more her pieces have taken on a serene and flowing appeal, resplendent of more relaxed shapes and silhouettes. The juxstaposition of her older and newer styles works well as parts of a whole.
The second part of Jennifer's evolution was her rise to the forefront of the green movement in jewelry in 2005, around the time she had the first of her two gorgeous children. “Becoming a mother was the most meaningful and spiritual experience I have ever known. It changed the way I perceived the future and showed me how important it was to be committed to a socially and environmentally responsible lifestyle.” Since then, Dawes has been using only recycled gold and responsibly mined stones wherever possible in her work. Her company prides itself on making everything locally and sourcing using sustainable businesses that use recycled products.
Both the lines of the metals as well as the gems Dawes chooses - natural colored diamonds and sapphires; slices; pale opaque rose-cut diamonds and polished rough-cut stones - give her collection a natural beauty and bohemian elegance.
Dawes continues to gain both retail and consumer recognition and explains, “It is a priority for me to keep my work accessible to the public who truly appreciate it and for whom it resonates. It helps me realize that I am doing something of value. Giving people a chance to feel like they are wearing something meaningful to them and that says a little about who they are.”