Jennifer Dawes launched her collection Dawes Design in 2000 and has since evolved to become one of the main proponents of sustainably responsible jewelry while also creating pieces that are magical to wear. Each piece combines her love of ancient civilizations with what is happening right now in culture and design and is hand-made, fabricated and finished at her studio in rural Sonoma County, California. Dawes explains, “I try to let the material speak for itself. I strip the designs back to their essential components and in doing this they become very feminine, subtle and organic.”
Before launching the collection, 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 and 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.”
Jennifer Dawes first rose to the forefront of the green movement in jewelry in 2005, around the time she had her first child. “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 only uses recycled gold and responsibly mined stones wherever possible in her work. She prides herself on making everything locally and sourcing using sustainable businesses that use recycled products.