In DIY DOCS, we take a look at how illustrators, artists, and designers put their stamp on a Dr. Martens product. Painting, tattooing or de-constructing – we’re giving them the creative freedom to express themselves off the canvas.
Gillian Shewaga embodies the laid-back, effortlessly cool vibe of Austin, Texas; she’s a talented photographer, jewelry-maker, and the Art Director of a local boutique on Austin’s iconic South Congress Avenue. Armed with a hammer and turquoise stones, Gillian created handmade, artisan pieces to adorn our White Pascal Virginias. Keep scrolling to see how she styled her boots and find out how she got her start making jewelry.
I’m a jewelry designer based in Austin, TX. I create handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces for my independent line, Reformation Jewelry.
How did you get started in jewelry making?
I fell in love with the handcrafted qualities of Southwestern jewelry, so I took my first class 4 years ago with the mission to set a simple bezel. The entire process of transforming metals completely captivated me and I was instantly hooked. Since then, I’ve been growing my skills, and am lucky enough to work and learn alongside an amazing community of local artists — through the studio education of jeweler and mentor Bob Weaver.
Tell us about the inspiration behind your design and why you chose the Pascals.
This past year I traveled to Greece and was inspired by all of the blue and white imagery there, which is how I ended up with the stone & leather choice. For the design, I wanted to make something personal enough that the wearer could have a connection with, much like a ring, but universal enough that you could rock it with any pair of shoes. I came up with something that I’m calling the “Boot Broach”, and you can wear it on top of any lace-up boots by just sliding through your shoestrings. I also incorporated some custom stamped tags and turquoise pendant charms throughout the laces to have fun with and add personal flare in the same way my pet tags do.
Tell us about one of your favorite creations.
I’ve done a ton of custom projects that are so special to me; designing for another person is such an intimate process. Something that brings me pure joy is working with animal lovers to create custom pet tags for their dogs or cats. I adopted my first dog this past year and it’s pretty awesome to see the excitement that pets bring to their owners.
What do you love most about living in Austin?
Anyone who’s lived here for over a year quickly realizes how small Austin actually is. It’s easy to meet new people with similar interests and can open doors to tons of new friendships.
What is your go-to place in Austin?
Tell us about your first pair of Dr. Martens.
When I was fifteen I got my first pair of 1461s in Navy. I still have the same style in my closet.
See more of Gillian’s work on Instagram.
Photography by Rick Cortez.