“I spend a lot of time ruminating and then I create.” – Dawn Middleton
Dawn Middleton is an art jewelry designer and fabricator who hand fabricate each piece out of sterling silver, gold, bronze, semi-precious, precious stones, and found objects. She finds inspiration in the organic forms and lines of her natural surroundings.
Of course, this is true of so many artists and artisans, and that they bend and shape metal to reflect such an aesthetic is always remarkable. Middleton lets the chosen stone lead the design, so that the Shell Aquamarine Necklace we see here envelopes the delicate shell in tender, scalloped folds, while the stone below it is set a bit more traditionally, yet its weight, appropriately positioned beneath the lighter shell, anchors the design.
Middleton’s origins as an artisan might seem surprising: “Interestingly, it was Ford Motor Company that nurtured me early on. For 14 years, I worked in Ford’s body shop, part of that time as a welder. I left when the company downsized, and from there I took personal responsibility for my growth. I studied interior design for four years, and those studies helped me understand that I could produce artful objects by applying the shapes, colors and textures of nature to jewelry design.”
“This passion and my skill were enhanced through metal smith classes. That changed my desire to bring into this world something special. I am inspired by my natural surroundings, and I love gardening and being one with nature, and my jewelry designs reflect that special part of me.” I have been metal smithing for only five years, and like the right plants, in the right soil, in the right sunlight, with the right amount of rain, my growth and the results have been evident.”
Middleton feels a profound spiritual element in her creative process, and a communal pride with her fellow artisans. “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 am blessed to be working in my in-home studio, where I spend four to five days a week on my craft, always giving gratitude for the wonderful abundance that is all around. My Hoosier landscape inspires me every day during every season, leading me to why being an Indiana Artisan is important to me. I wanted to represent the state I live in with my creations and get to know other Indiana Artisans. I am proud that my work represents Indiana, and personally I feel blessed to be a part of a great organization focused on what is flowing from very creative people.”
Dawn Middleton will be participating in the 2017 Open Studio Weekend, sponsored by Louisville Visual Art and University of Louisville’s Hite Art Institute. Her studio, located in Greenville Indiana, will be open the weekend of November 4 and 5. Tickets for Open Studio Weekend will go on sale October 16. Click here for more information.
Hometown: Tacoma, Washington
Education: Bachelor Degree in Interior Design and Associates Degree in Computer Science.
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Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved