The Artist, & His Muse

February 7, 2024

Artist and Muse v2Artist and Muse v2

Behind remarkable art is an artist with a remarkable muse. Meet David Gardner’s muse: his beautiful wife, Julia. With a deep past that shaped her faith and strength and enduring spirit, with a drive and passion and curiosity for the world, with a playfulness on the dance floor and perfect poise in the office…she’s every bit remarkable. Her influence on David Gardner Design is absolutely undeniable. We invite you to turn the next few pages to experience a rare glimpse of the Artist reflecting on his Muse. 

The Big Picture 

“Julia is unbelievably creative – lots of big ideas… often ones that scare me. She has this amazing ability to see the big picture (seems totally crazy to me), see the path to get there, and then convince me to hop on board. Not always easy, but she’s typically right- and her crazy, big ideas often involve a ton of excitement along the way. We both confess we wouldn’t be the store we are today without each other. We challenge one another, complement each other’s weaknesses… We make a great team, a dynamic team, for sure. The motive behind this design was simple – a crazy, fun party she’d planned was fast-approaching and she needed a crazy, fun piece to wear.”

Julia's custom star necklace

Lost in the Stars 

“I was inspired to make a star for Julia after getting lost in how vast the universe is, staring at the night sky – enjoying how God shares his creativity with us. So much of what I love about her is the unexpected nature of her personality. She can be poised and professional, but also spontaneous, spirited and fun, so of course, the star had to be unpredictable. The result of the piece was so fun and shocking – a slightly unique shape with two different diamond encrusted, created independently, then overlaid together so that there is an openness, dimension and texture. Once the pieces were assembled, I covered it with more diamonds of all different sizes, suspended and set so that they appear to be floating.”

Julia's custom cross necklace

Handful of Gemstones

“This was a fun one. One afternoon Julia gave me a handful of gemstones in one of her favorite color combinations. However, none of them were the same size or shape – nothing matched. Obviously, I took the challenge; I had no idea what the heck I was going to do, but I knew she wanted to combine the colors. So I started putting them in different arrangements, and it just kind of hit me that I could make a cross out of them. Except that the left didn’t match the right, the top didn’t match the bottom, but fascinating. I ended up sprinkling diamonds around the peridot giving a pretty, strong center, and then I went crazy using rubies and bezels attached by hand. Nothing is symmetrical about it, and it is big – about three inches. Seems extreme, but so much fun. It looks like the crown jewel or something, but none of the parts were that expensive.”

Julia's custom heart necklace

First of its Kind

“My passion for Julia’s heart motivated me to create a heart pendant. Struggling with the ‘usual heart shape,’ my initial doodles were not intriguing. Then, early one morning, I started drawing more of a brush stroke swish, thin-to-thick-to-thin, offset in length and width, still communicating love, but DG style. Set with more than three carats of diamonds, I designed it to be worn slightly low, close to her heart. I remember the booth in the restaurant and the blue blazer she was wearing when I surprised her. No two millimeters of this heart are the same. It represents that relationships are a fluid, moving, never finished journey This was the very first DG Design that took flight as a collection. Though Julia had long been a receiver of DG one-of-a-kind designs, this was the start of her becoming the receiver of first-of-its-kind.”

The story of David Gardner and his muse, Julia, is one of boundless creativity, love, and the magic that happens when two souls merge their unique energies. Their artistic journey together is a testament to the power of inspiration and the beautiful creations it can bring forth. As you explore the pieces inspired by their love, may you find inspiration of your own in the enchanting tale of the artist and his muse.

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