About

Gary Dawson

Articles by


Gary Dawson

Article
Bench Jewelers Can Take Sniper Lessons

As the target comes into focus and the operator aligns the crosshairs, elements of the world slowly cease to exist until the only things left are the target and the operator’s breath. As the rhythm of her respiration cycles — breathe in, breathe…

Article
Comparative Analysis of Three Welding Systems

AJM Magazine asked me to perform a comparative analysis of three welding systems performance in several different precious metal welding applications. I was to analyze the PUK 2 spot welder, which was developed by Lampert Tools USA Inc. and…

Article
Heat Treating Metals

Heat treatment changes the microstructure of a metal or alloy. It is a process that may be applied after casting, or during or after fabrication. Since mechanical properties, such as strength, ductility, hardness, and toughness, and chemical…

Article
How to Make Hoop Earrings

Tom Dougherty of Studio 2015 in Woodstock, Illinois, had an interesting process to share about making hoop earrings from tubing. He learned the process from Kenneth Guth, a neighboring goldsmith and acclaimed knife maker. By all accounts,…

Article
Knife Making Techniques for Jewelry Design

My dad was in the Navy during World War II and was among the personnel who entered Japan shortly after the war was over. The Katana he obtained in Japan, which hung on the wall of my childhood home, now often decorates the wall of the custom jewelry…

Article
Locating Dead Center on Ring Blanks

This article provides a helpful tip on locating dead center on ring blanks and finding balance on an object. Free-form wax carving offers jewelers an unlimited number of design possibilities. However, one noticeable disadvantage of this…

Article
Millimeter Gauge Layout Technique

Meticulous planning and tedious layout are a big part of a goldsmiths life at the bench. It usually pays dividends to thoughtfully plan gemstone layout for graver setting. If youre off by just 0.1 mm in one direction or another, you can sometimes…

Article
Perfect Finishing Tools and Techniques

Our castings can be flawless, our assembly precise, and our settings secure — but let any surface go a bit rough, a little uneven and wobbly, and the jewelry is judged to be inferior. Ironically, even the ultimate finish begins to deteriorate…

Article
Sealing Cracks in Gemstones

An old lapidary taught me an excellent trick for sealing cracks in gemstones. Some gems are inherently unstable. If a client of mine wants one of these gems for inlay, or to be cut or set, I will often use this technique – with full disclosure, of…

Article
Testing the MK Gem eBox

If, like me, you consider yourself a successful photographer, you may be skeptical about products on the market that promise to improve your jewelry photos. I had a recent opportunity to review one such product, the MK Gem eBox, a light box designed…