A creator of finery
The mind of the jewellery maker is the place where necklaces, bracelets, rings and other jewellery exist before they are given tangible form. This job requires creativity and finesse, combining design knowledge with the handling of precious metals and the art of setting stones and pearls. Jewellery makers begin by drawing the item, keeping in mind the technical and financial constraints within which they must work.
While designers of costume jewellery may integrate plastic, leather or even wood into their creations, fine jewellery makers only deal with precious metals: gold, silver or platinum. They have a range of techniques at their disposal to create small batches of jewellery or unique pieces. Jewellery makers also carry out repairs and may turn their hand to restoring old jewellery.
Working with fine or precious stones is the responsibility of the jeweller. Just as metal and stone are frequently found together in jewellery designs, the jewellery maker and the jeweller responsible for the precious stones are often the same person. The jewellery has a setting which is pierced to accommodate a stone and showcase it to optimum effect. Sometimes, jewellery makers may reproduce models from other creators.
Whether working as an independent artisan or employee, jewellery makers may operate alone or in a small team in a workshop. They may also spend some of their time in a store where they have contact with the customers. Depending on the task at hand, they use various tools and machines to cast and cut the metal. Jewellery makers have intricate knowledge of the metals and precious stones found in the trade, and know how to make the best possible use of them. They are highly skilled at casting metal, creating alloys and shaping components. Careful and attentive, they use the necessary equipment to protect themselves, in particular against the fumes generated during metal casting.
Skills required: creativity – precision – meticulousness – patience – ability to concentrate – dexterity – visual acuity – manual skill – team spirit – interpersonal skills