Texas jewelry designer and metalsmith Dawna Gillespie describes her art as sculptural and soulful.
The artist: Gillespie grew up in Fort Worth and graduated with a BFA from Texas Tech University. At college, she first focused on acrylic painting. Then Gillespie took a metalsmithing class, and never looked back.
The company/studio: Dawna Gillespie Adornments, started in 2018 and is based in Lubbock. The artist’s in-home studio is filled with curated items from estate sales, antique stores and artist friends.
The art & materials: Hand-fabricated copper and brass art jewelry. Also home adornments on stands and for the wall. She never reproduces or duplicates a design.
The various shapes and lines in her work represent different aspects of her life, Gillespie said. “They are part of my vision, my story — and my soul.”
What’s popular: Earrings ($200 to $400) and ornaments on stands ($400 to $1,000).
Other favorites: Cuffs ($450 to $800); necklaces ($800 to $3,000); and wall adornments ($1,500 to $5,000).
The process: Gillespie starts with a flat sheet of raw copper or brass and uses a jeweler’s saw to shape each piece. She also uses other techniques, including: piercing, patina, oxidation, etching, hammering, forming, forging, stamping and cold-connecting.
Inspiration/influences: Movements, such as Baroque and Art Nouveau. Also the theories of femininity, fertility, domesticity, marriage, and sexuality.
Fun or special request: A long-time collector commissioned her to create multiple ornaments as Christmas gifts for the women in his office.
- Waitlisted for the 2019 Smithsonian Craft Show, her first year to apply.
- Kicked off the 49 season of Texas Country Reporter, a weekly TV program that features special places and people in Texas.
- 10-page spread as the “Designer Collection” in winter 2019 issue of Belle Armoire Jewelry, a national publication.
- One of three semi-finalists in the “fashion & style” category of the 2020 Texas Works Awards presented by Go Texan.
What’s next: Small-scale sculptures coming this fall.
Where to buy: dawnagillespie.com
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