by Linda Shanahan
Appeared in the Sun Lakes “Splash”, November 2020
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 BA in 1965. He learned how to solder the BEZEL on top of a backing plate and then mount a Turquoise CABOCHON.
For fifty 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 CABACHONS. Doug shares, “It was fun to buy other’s 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 hand crafted jewelry made by “D G W”. 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. 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 2 sons, one in Ohio and one in London.
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 advise
And as a bonus Dougie’s real nice.