He wasn’t a goldsmith when he started visiting The Gem Gallery in Bozeman after school. He wasn’t even old enough to drive. In fact, it was in his earliest years when Jason Baide found his calling making jewelry.
Jason recently graduated from Montana State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art and a minor in business (along with an honors degree). Baide is continuing his long journey as a key member of Gem Gallery’s team of jewelers.
“I’d come by after school and play and explore at the shop,” Baide said. “I’d play up in the wax room, making small items, and it really helped me form my interests, with the help and support of my dad.”
Jason’s dad is Gem Gallery owner Don Baide, whose leadership of the store has fostered a community, and a new generation of passion for the beauty of Montana-made fine jewelry. But for Jason, it started with impressing a few friends at school.
“I had a book project in sixth grade,” Jason said. “And I decided to make an actual ‘golden compass’ out of brass for my school report. I designed it and my dad helped me cast it. I still remember the reaction I got from the class.”
How does Jason bring his passion to light in Bozeman? He listens to his customers and asks them about their lifestyles — whether they’ll be wearing one of his pieces while fishing, on the job or doing outdoor activities, for example.
“I like to design for a feel of Montanans,” Baide said. “Cleaner, more durable, smooth and simple elegance, rather than just diamonds upon diamonds.”
“It has to suit them,” Baide added. “Flashier and taller might be right for some but not for others. In the end, it’s really rewarding to make the right piece for the right person.”
Currently, Jason Baide is using his skills as a trained goldsmith to work with clients at The Gem Gallery to make custom pieces, as well as impressing judges in worldwide jewelry competitions. In fact, he recently was a finalist for the third year in a row in the Saul Bell Design Awardcompetition recognizing distinction in jewelry design by taking first place.
After two years of competing in the “Emerging Artist” category, this year Baide finished first in the “Professional Art Objects and Hollowware” category with a piece from his BFA collection from MSU. In years past, he submitted a necklace and a ring, but this year, it was a silver fidget spinner that took the accolades. And it isn’t just any spinner, it’s based on the makeup compacts and cigarette cases of the 1950s and constructed with gemstones and gold accents.
[Photo of the winning piece – from Saul Bell site]
Jason Baide isn’t just in the family at The Gem Gallery, he’s a part of the true passion for the ancient craft of goldsmithing which, for him, is something he’ll continue to refine just like a fine piece of jewelry.
“Even while I was in college, I worked nearly full time at the store, so it’s great to now be able to give it my full attention,” Baide said. “I’m excited to continue to work with clients and to be able to also develop my own design projects for the store.”
To keep up with Jason and his work, follow him on Instagram at @jeweler_jason and, of course, you can always catch him at The Gem Gallery at 402 East Main St. in downtown Bozeman.
The Gem Gallery is Bozeman’s premier custom jewelry and Montana Yogo Sapphire store. Founded in 1994 by Don Baide, we are located in historic and vibrant downtown Bozeman, Montana. We specialize in rare Montana Yogo Sapphires, custom designed jewelry and GIA certified Diamonds. Our talented in-house goldsmiths and designers can help you to visualize and create distinctive, one-of-a-kind jewelry that you will treasure and adore.
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