Some of Doug's earliest memories are of fossicking in the bush around Bowen, North Queensland, looking for quartz crystals with his father. So I guess you could say that his love of gemstones had an early start. Time passes and after 20 years as a professional computer programmer and designer of computer systems and databases he finds himself back where he started.
Doug began teaching himself to facet in 2004. At this time he was still doing the computer day job but found that he simply wanted to go more and more into the world of stones. He has a passion for gems and all things lapidary. One day serendipity came knocking and he chanced across a small advertisement in a stone magazine - a small gemshop at Mt Surprise in Far North Queensland was looking for someone to help out in the shop and take customers out on topaz digging tours. Just outside of Mt Surprise are the famous O'Briens Creek topaz digging fields and the job was for the winter tourist season, about 3 months worth. Things quickly fell into place and Doug was offered the job.
After approaching his computer boss for three months leave and subsequently being told no, Doug simply said fair enough, in that case I just have to go anyway and he resigned from his high paying, high stress computer job. Sometimes to follow a dream you have to take a leap of faith.
That first season was fantastic and Doug took to it like a duck to water. Being paid to work in a gemshop, to take people out digging topaz and having a dig himself and then spending the rest of his time cutting gems... well, you could say he was pretty happy about all that.
If you've got a few minutes spare, have a quick read of my profile at Courtesy Of The Artist. This is a unique gallery of incredible jewellery designers and artists located on the second floor of the Strand Arcade in the Sydney CBD. A number of the jewellery designers, such as Cinnamon Lee and Marina Antoniou, have used my gems in their wonderful creations. Drop by sometime and check out their work, it is truly an inspiration.
Today, Doug lives in Sydney and is one of Australia's premier gemstone artist.
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