Doug Williams: The Artist Who Aspires to Inspire

Doug Williams

Doug Williams

Linda Shanahan

Doug the curmudgeon what can I say

He shows up at shop and brightens our day

The man’s into turquoise, it’s his favorite rock

If he gets the fake stuff you’ll hear Dougie squawk

He’ll go to a website and buy it online

It better be high grade, it better be fine

He likes lots of matrix, the host in the stone

If it has no pattern he’ll leave it alone

The size of his pieces we kid him about

He makes them for giants, that’s without a doubt.

If you’ve got a problem just go and ask Doug

If you burn a bezel he’ll give you a hug

Your silver is tarnished he’ll teach you to shine

Once he has finished your piece will look fine

He’s best of the burnishers we all agree

He’ll flatten that bezel no space you will see

His work is amazing, a real Southwest flair

He loves what he does and makes each piece with care

This master creator shares expert advice

And as a bonus Dougie’s real nice.

Want to meet Doug? We thought you might

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Doug Williams identifies himself as “an 80-year-old curmudgeon who likes turquoise and silver.” Do not for one minute believe it! This man has traveled the world, escorting VIP tours in his 36 years as marketing manager for United Airlines. He has been a silversmith jeweler who specializes in turquoise and silver since 1965. Blessed to be creative, he fell in love with the look and feel of .925 sterling silver, turquoise, and the art of jewelry in a Southwest style.

Doug took his first jewelry class as an art major at Colorado State University and graduated with a B.A. in 1965. He learned how to solder the bezel on top of a backing plate and then mount a turquoise cabochon. For 50 years, he purchased turquoise cabochons already finished, but after retiring and moving to Phoenix in 2013, he joined the Sun Lakes Rock, Gem & Silver Club and took a class in lapidary. That’s where he learned to cut his own “rough” turquoise into “slabs” and then cabochons. Doug shares, “It was fun to buy others’ cabochons, but as soon as I started lapidary, I found the excitement and overall satisfaction of knowing that not only did I buy the sterling silver and ‘construct’ the jewelry by hand, but I cut and polished the turquoise.”

He puts love and affection into every piece of handcrafted jewelry made by “DGW.” He stamps all of his original pieces with “925,” “Sterling,” and his initials, which stand for Douglas Gail Williams. “Please note that I am not Native American, nor have I ever promoted my work as such. I do, however, love, admire, and respect the creativity and designs of the Southwest Native American tribes. The point being, if you are looking for authentic Native American jewelry, please understand that my work is not Native American.”

Doug lives in Oakwood with his wife Jeanne. He has a daughter in Chandler, and two sons; one in Ohio and one in London.

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