The 70's


t that time, in Santa Fe, the local creative climate encouraged elaboration. I initially joined my fellow silversmiths in embracing the complex, trying to impress and outdo with a profusion of intricate detail. At one point, however, I broke from the pack, pursuing a modern vision more in line with my personal taste. As a result, I rejected unnecessary complexity and embraced, instead, simplicity.

A painter friend of mine once said about his own work, ‘It’s very complicated to make something so simple.’ He was right. To make it simple, you’ve really got to hit perfection. In the end, what few details there are have to carry the weight of the entire piece.Douglas Magnus-

Oil painting, a passion since the 1980s, encouraged this philosophy. In addition to lessons learned at my easel, the study of art history, particularly the paintings of artists such as Cezanne and Matisse, helped sharpen my understanding of shape-relationships, textures, and line, profoundly affecting the way I design and make jewelry.

Oftentimes in my work, these details include rare turquoise from the Cerrillos district of New Mexico. I first explored these ancient mines some forty years ago, and to this day I am endlessly challenged and fascinated by this age-old heritage gemstone.


Cerrillos Turquoise

Working with Cerrillos turquoise connects my process and designs to the ancient Southwest and Mesoamerican cultures. As the present-day owner and steward of these mines, including the original Tiffany Mine, the Castillian, and the Alicia, I’ve had the great privilege of working most of my career with access to these magnificent and rare gemstones. These pieces are amongst my proudest achievements in jewelry work.


Museum of Santa Fe
Museum of Art, Santa Fe

Doug is a prolific painter, embracing numerous subjects such as interiors and figurative works, while partial to plein air paintings created on site at his mines. Doug's studies of the arts has immensely influenced his jewelry works.