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My Bench














My Bench: jewellers at the coalface

While their artisan skills and creations are often awe-inspiring, bench jewellers are generally hidden away in the backrooms creating fine jewellery … that is until now.

Manufacturing jewellers play an integral part and central role in the industry but rarely are they placed in the spotlight for all to see – working ‘out the back’ of a jewellery store probably doesn’t help!

The Jeweller team thought it was about time our 'benchies' were given some well-deserved attention so we’ve introduced a regular column called My Bench.

My Bench acts as a backstage pass into the working life of some of the most talented benchies across the country. We’ll profile a jeweller every month, as they share intimate details regarding their workbench (yes, there is photographic evidence) and answer Jeweller’s unique combination of hard-hitting – and whimsical – questions.

2017

 

 

MAY SPOTLIGHT:
DEAN HARRISON

 

 

 

 

Works at: Ringleaders
Age: 47
Years in trade: 31
Training: 
Apprenticeship
First job: The Tom Menzies Jewellers, Newcastle

 

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APRIL SPOTLIGHT:
MARION SCHWEITZER

MARCH SPOTLIGHT:
HAMPAR ARZUMAN

FEBRUARY SPOTLIGHT:
WAYNE PICKUP 




Works at: Marion Schweitzer Jewellers
Age: Don't be silly; never ask a woman her age
Years in trade: A long time
Training: Jewellery Apprenticeship, FGAA
First job: A local manufacturing jeweller based in Brisbane, QLD

Works at: Baguette Diamond Setting
Age: 47
Years in trade: A long time! More than 30 years
Training: 
Apprenticeship
First job: The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

Works at: W & V Jewellers
Age: 69
Years in trade: 52
Training: Apprenticeship
First job: 
Ringcraft (Malcolm O'Hara)

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2016

 

DECEMBER SPOTLIGHT:
KEVIN BAHAR

NOVEMBER SPOTLIGHT:
VICK NACKASHIAN



Works at: Diamond Rings Internationale
Age: 54
Years in trade: 48
Training: Diamond setting apprenticeship
First job: A diamond setting workshop in Istanbul's Grand Bazaar

Works at: Vick Nackashian Fine Jewellery
Age: 43
Years in trade: 24
Training: Apprenticeship
First job: Ken Gray Design

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OCTOBER SPOTLIGHT:
IAN MURRAY     

SEPTEMBER SPOTLIGHT:
PHILIP STEEL

AUGUST SPOTLIGHT:
FRANK ATHANASOPOULOS 




Works at: Ellissi
Age: If I told you I would have to kill you
Years in trade: 36
Training: Apprenticeship
First job: Gemcraft Jewellers (UK)

Works at: Philip Steel Jeweller
Age: 31
Years in trade: 48 (too many!)
Training: 
Apprenticeship
First job: E Katz Manufacturing Jewellers

Works at: Timeless Gold Jewellery
Age: 42
Years in trade: 24
Training: Apprenticeship
First job: 
Oscar Jewellery Manufacturing

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JULY SPOTLIGHT:
JAMES TYLER     

JUNE SPOTLIGHT:
STEPHANIE VELLA

MAY SPOTLIGHT:
HRATCH GRARIBIAN 




Works at: James Tyler Jewellery
Age: 46
Years in trade: 30
Training: Apprenticeship
First job: GJ Coey Manufacturing Jewellers

Works at: Jewellery by Stephanie
Age: 31
Years in trade: 13
Training: Certificate III in jewellery
First job: Rob Bennett Jewellery
Other qualifications: Certificate IV in gemmological studies (GAA), Certificate III in hand engraving

Works at: AJ Jewellery and Diamond Setter (sole trader)
Age: 54
Years in trade: 40+
Training: Jewellery apprenticeship
First job: Jeweller in Beirut, Lebanon
Other qualifications: Diamond setter

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OCTOBER SPOTLIGHT:
IAN MURRAY     

SEPTEMBER SPOTLIGHT:
PHILIP STEEL

AUGUST SPOTLIGHT:
FRANK ATHANASOPOULOS 




Works at: Ellissi
Age: If I told you I would have to kill you
Years in trade: 36
Training: Apprenticeship
First job: Gemcraft Jewellers (UK)

Works at: Philip Steel Jeweller
Age: 31
Years in trade: 48 (too many!)
Training: 
Apprenticeship
First job: E Katz Manufacturing Jewellers

Works at: Timeless Gold Jewellery
Age: 42
Years in trade: 24
Training: Apprenticeship
First job: 
Oscar Jewellery Manufacturing

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APRIL SPOTLIGHT:
OK JIN JANG     

MARCH SPOTLIGHT:
BRETT STEWART

FEBRUARY SPOTLIGHT:
JEFF CROSS     




Works at: Jang's Jewellery
Age: 61
Years in trade: 15
Training:
Certificate III in jewellery manufacture at Design Centre Enmore and apprenticeship
First job: Primo Jewellery, 2003
Other qualifications: Bachelor of fine art

Works at: Brett Stewart Jeweller
Age: 36
Years in trade: 18
Training: Apprenticeship
First job:
Rod Groves Jewellery, 1997

Works at: JMX Jewellery, Emil Braun
Age: 56
Years in trade: 40+
Training: Apprenticeship
First job: Emil Braun
Other qualifications: Diamond setter

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2015

 

DECEMBER SPOTLIGHT:
PAUL BLIGH

NOVEMBER SPOTLIGHT:
DAVID MANSFIELD



Works at: Peter W Beck
Age: 44
Years in trade: 27
Training: Apprenticeship
First job: Apprentice at a jeweller in Blackwood, SA

Works at: David Mansfield Jewellers
Age: 45
Years in trade: 37
Training: Apprenticeship
First job: Jeff Eyles Jewellery, 1988

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OCTOBER SPOTLIGHT:
RAY MCALISTER

SEPTEMBER SPOTLIGHT:
SARINA CUNNINGHAM

AUGUST SPOTLIGHT:
JENNA O'BRIEN




Works at: McAlister Jewellers
Age: 77
Years in trade: 30
Training: 
Apprenticeship and self-taught
First job: Apprentice diamond setter at Wartmans Diamond setters, 1953

Works at: E.A. Drew Manufacturing Jewellers/Sarinel Designer Jewellery
Age: 35
Years in trade: 13
Training: Apprenticeship at NMIT (now Melbourne Polytechnic)
First job: Austgold Manufacturing Jewellers

Works at: Pilkington Jewellers/Jenna O'Brien Jewellery
Age: 30
Years in trade: 6
Training: 
Bachelor of fine art/gold and silversmithing, Advanced diploma of jewellery technology/jewellery design
First job: Pilkington Jewellers

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JULY SPOTLIGHT:
GEOFF BROWN 

JUNE SPOTLIGHT:
LINDA SMITH

MAY SPOTLIGHT:
DIKRAN MANJIAN




Works at: Geogem
Age: 58
Years in trade: 42
Training: Apprenticeship, Sydney TAFE
First job: Rhon Rae Productions

Works at: Emil Braun/Linela Fine Jewellery
Age: 46
Years in trade: 28
Training: Apprenticeship
First job:
Rod Groves Jewellery, 1997

Works at: Manjian Design Works
Age: 35
Years in trade: 18
Training: Apprenticeship - trained as a jeweller and diamond-setter in both eastern and western styles of manufacturing
First job: Citygold Gold Manufacturing
Other qualifications: Gemmologist, FGAA

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APRIL SPOTLIGHT: 
JADE  PFEIFFER 

MARCH SPOTLIGHT: 
VARTAN BAKALIAN

FEBRUARY SPOTLIGHT: 
SIMON GREW    




Works at: Peter W Beck
Age: 35
Years in trade: 14
Training: Studied a bachelor of visual arts and a Certificate 4 in Jewellery
First job: Lone Star Steakhouse

Works at: BB Designer Jewellers
Age: 32
Years in trade: 18
Training: Private tutoring from age 14. Apprenticeship at Design Centre Enmore
First job: Hands-on work with master jeweller

Works at: Grew & Co, Sydney
Age: 36
Years in trade: 18
Training: Apprenticeship, completed 2000
First job: RJ & CR Pinn

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Tuesday, 23 May, 2017 09:14am
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