Some people are constantly creating and inventing. For Jon Dadon of Chain + Link, making the transition from music to metalwork was as natural as breathing.
There’s no doubt about it, Jon Dadon is one cool dude. He’s a recognised DJ, Founder of Music Is 4 Lovers, the co-founder of Lovelife (Event Production) in San Diego, and the creator of a clothing brand. And, because he had a spare five minutes, he’s now created Chain + Link - a jewellery brand that plays with organic and industrial elements.
“I've always been into jewelry, but I could never quite find what I wanted. At some point a few years ago, I decided I'd try to make some bracelets because the price of the ones I wanted to buy was ridiculous. In retrospect, I’m actually pretty thankful to the designers out there charging enormous prices, since they inspired me to make jewelry for myself.”
“To be honest, I didn't expect it to grow as fast as it has. I made jewelry for myself, and as I wore what I made, people began buying the pieces off my wrist. I was caught a little off guard, and eventually decided I had come across a potential business opportunity.”
Every piece that Jon designs is unique yet vaguely reminiscent of the simmering coals in an iron forge and the rough-hewn hands of a master blacksmith. Whether it’s a ring, his signature La Mezcla bracelet, a cuff or a necklace, each item boldly embraces its imperfections, mimicking the crevices of a cliff-face, the strands of grass in a field, or the smoothness of stone worn away by a centuries-old waterfall.
“I am inspired by all I see in life. Bits and pieces of what I see through my eyes just find a way of assembling themselves in my head. I didn't exactly visualize all the pieces collectively. One led to the next and so on, taking some elements from the predecessor and introducing some new elements as well. My jewelry is always evolving and I expect it always will. It's alive and begins to take on a life of its own as time goes on.”
Working on each product is an organic process for Jon, but the part he loves most is the initial concept and design. Although it might be hard initially, once he unlocks the secret behind a piece of metal, inspiration begins to flow. And, although he works with everything from oxidised silver and brass to crystals, a quick look at his work shows a particular affinity with the fluidity of the metal.
“It's the most beautiful to me and the contrast between the silver and oxidation makes the pieces the most interesting to look at and wear. Brass is great too because the metal seems to always be changing color, but I am a silver guy, so it's what I love to make the most and wear.”
For Jon, the life of an artisan and creative is all about balance - balancing what you want to make, and what people want to buy. Of course, he recognises that being consistent and presenting a cohesive line makes the best sense for his brand and business. But, the inner adventurer in Jon will always be pushing and striving to reach new heights.
As he quite rightly puts it, “There's always something beautiful and amazing out there that makes you reconsider everything you're doing and want to switch everything up.”
Check out Jon's work at www.chainandlink.com
Images via: Chain + Link