Our first Battle of the Benches® competition played host to over 200 jewelers from around the country and three days of excitement, education and an exhilarating jewelry-making challenge. David Adamson came into the competition calm and collected. He was anxious, but not nervous. He was eager to participate and awaited the opportunity to compete and exhibit his hard work.
Round 1: Create a CAD Design
In the first challenge, contestants were given a customer profile to inspire their ring designs. David observed his prospect and was steered toward what he imagined she would like. “The general shape of the ring followed the shape of her handbag and shoes, and the scrollwork followed the clef in her violin and the waves of the sea,” David explained. He decided to keep the overall design simple.
When it comes to customization, David prefers to use RhinoGold. He enjoys the software’s simplicity, intuitiveness and ease of use. David’s career as a jeweler began at the bench rather than as a CAD jeweler, which led to his gravitation toward RhinoGold software.
Round 2: The Parts & Pieces Challenge
In the second challenge, participants were given a box of “stuff.” Upon opening his box, David immediately noticed the red and blue gemstones and imagined a lively circus! From this idea, he created a fun and exciting pendant with a balloon shape and wavy form. Of the three challenges, this was David’s favorite. “Honestly, this is what I like to do. I like fabrication and handwork. It’s what I grew up doing. This is the part I enjoy even more than CAD!”
Round 3: Bringing it all Together
After all the votes were counted, David Adamson won three of the four possible prizes, including the Grand Prize, at our inaugural Battle of the Benches. When asked about what helped him succeed in the contest, he pointed to the lessons of an early mentor, jeweler Jay Harold, whose favorite phrase was, “make do”: “This helped me to be able to adapt to whatever tools were handy and ‘make do.’”
David first developed a love for the trade working alongside his father in the family store at the age of 16. Starting from the bottom taught David all the important skills that every bench jeweler needs to succeed. Today, he is the proud owner of David Adamson Designer Jewelry. Being in the jewelry industry for 39 years taught David how to adapt to change. He knows it’s a new, ever-growing retail landscape and he’s constantly attending CAD training seminars and technology fairs to stay abreast of current changes.
When not at the bench, David loves to help people study the Bible. He also likes to sail, snow ski, travel, and hang out with his beautiful wife, kids, and gorgeous granddaughter.
The dazzling piece below is a six inch long solid gold object d’art of a nude. It is suspended by flowing waves of silver and supports a cherry Mexican fire opal star in her outstretched hands. The star is removable and can be worn as a pendant.
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