Meet Our Instructors

Meet the Portland Jewelry Academy instructors! We work to provide top notch education to everybody who enters this institution. One way we do this is by creating a connection with each student. Currently Jason Chandler teaches all bench jewelry courses and Gary Dawson offers the CAD course which students take during their first term at PJA. Read more about each of them here:

show instruction

Jason Chandler

Portland Jewelry Academy Founder and Instructor

Jason Chandler has been studying and working in jewelry manufacturing since 1994. Since then, he has established himself within the industry as a highly valuable and reliable bench jeweler. Jason has been doing live demonstrations for Stuller’s Bench Jeweler Workshop since 2018. He is also featured in multiple of Stuller’s From the Bench articles. While instructing, Jason has continued work as a bench jeweler at Portland Jewelry Artisans. This is a jewelry trade shop that he owns with his wife Ane Chandler.

Since establishing Portland Jewelry Academy in 2014, Jason has expanded to teach more than just Introduction to Jewelry Manufacturing. He now incorporates CAD instruction, offers an advanced skills term, and a week-long platinum practical. While Jason spends his days teaching students how to be bench jewelers, he manages to learn new things along the way. Jason has a particular fondness for comparing and contrasting historical methods of jewelry manufacturing with modern. He does this while looking for nuanced ways to combine the old with the new.

With a passion for jewelry manufacturing, Jason Chandler provides his students with a unique and close-knit learning community for gaining the skills needed to become a successful bench jeweler. He feels strongly about supporting the profession and passing the knowledge he’s gained over the course of his career onto the future generations of bench jewelers.

Gary Dawson of Gary Dawson Designs

Gary Dawson

CAD Instructor

Gary Dawson is owner of Gary Dawson Designs, an online custom design operation that was once featured as a “Best of the Best” by Instore Magazine. He is also an Accredited Rhino Trainer by McNeel & Associates and has been teaching Rhinoceros 3D for several years. Dawson has 45 years of experience in creating designs that capture the personalities and stories of his customers. He is also a frequent contributor to MJSA Journal, and has delivered seminars and presentations at numerous events. These events include AGTA GemFair, Portland Jewelry Symposium, and the Santa Fe Symposium on Jewelry Manufacturing Technology. With his working knowledge of design, jewelry manufacturing procedures, and small-part engineering, Gary focuses his CAD training on manufacturability.
More information Gary and Rhino Cad training opportunities can be found at educational site.