HISTORY MY CRAFT & TRAINING
I prepare the designs, make the piece in precious metal, set stones, engrave, enamel and finish independently, by hand in the UK. I am a proud craftsman and push the value of craftsmanship and brand Great Britain.
I have been a craftsman in the jewellery trade in the UK since I left school at 16. I was an apprentice in Birmingham, England and it was in this time I developed the strong skill foundations up on which I have built my career.
See below the history of the skills and disciplines that I utilise in my work.
Goldsmithing and Silversmithing
I began goldsmithing as a 16-year-old apprentice at T. J. Skeleton’s of Birmingham’s ‘Jewellery Quarter’. I worked as a ‘mounter’ under the guidance of many well experienced jewellers, who at the time formed part of the great jewel industry that existed in the heart of Birmingham. I have been making pieces of my own design ever since.
Today I continue to make my own designs and commissions in precious metals. I am a proud member of the Goldsmiths’ Livery company and promote the goldsmithing craft in the UK through my contributions to training through the Goldsmiths’ Centre in London.
I enjoy working with precious stones. Fascination first arose in my early teens on a trip to Kathmandu, Nepal with my family. I watched a stone dealer show an array of precious stones to my father as he sort to commission a piece of jewellery for my mother.
Since training in Birmingham as an apprentice I have continued to develop my setting skills and now I often train others as stone setters. I am an avid micro-setter and this is a course that I often run at the Goldsmiths’ Centre in London.
I began enamelling after inspiration from a friend who I worked with to develop their engraving talent. I loved the way that colour could bring to life the intricate detailing of engraving. I still enjoy experimenting with the use of colour to enrich the meaning of a piece.
The traditional enamelling techniques that I use are developing the flare of the pieces that I today produce. I enjoy experimenting with colour and developing my skills further. Enamelling is very much an experimental process, colours can be difficult to repeat; however, I believe this unique finish compliments the handmade approach that I take.
I am a member of the ‘Enamellers Guild of Great Britain’.
Working at T. J. Skelton of Birmingham, England, I worked on civic and masonic regalia. These such pieces were intricately engraved through multiple techniques, all by hand, by master craftsmen. At this time, I learned basic skills, from some of the best.
However, it was some years later that I returned to the discipline. Working independently and with some direction I built on these skills I had held in my past and pushed my craftsmanship further. I used hand tools and have now evolved to use air tools. The air tools require the same command of craft; however, air tools ease the burden on hands and joints that is otherwise incurred by ‘traditional’ hand tools.
I have been and remain an active member of the ‘Hand Engraving Association of Great Britain’. I have contributed towards workshops and events.
Having been an apprentice myself, I understand well the benefits of tutorage. Working with others develops us all and it is important to share skills if crafts are to be continued.
I enjoy teaching and teach one to one and small groups. I regularly hold training sessions at The Goldsmiths’ Centre in London. However, I also offer bespoke training days for those seeking to improve their skills.
To find out more, get in touch and we can discuss how I can help.