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My Bench

My Bench: Jo Makohin

Jo Makohin loves the challenge of completing a project as a bench jeweller, particularly when it involves learning a new skill or ability.

Jo Makohin

Works at: Simon West Fine Jewellery. Melbourne VIC

Age: 42

Years in trade: 24 years

Training: Apprenticeship at NMIT


Handmade platinum ring featuring an old cut centre diamond and Cadillac cut side stones. It was an engagement ring to be given to a fellow jeweller and it was a little daunting to make something beautiful and timeless for another talented jeweller.

Favourite gemstone:

Diamonds for their durability, nothing else has that same sparkle.

Favourite metal:

Platinum. You have to put that little extra bit of work into it, but the payoff is well worth it.

Favourite tool:

All of them! But a saw frame, as simple as it is, can make very intricate filigree work.

Best new tool discovery:


Best part of job:

The idea that I am creating something that will hopefully become a family heirloom and can live on well beyond my lifetime.

Worst part of job:

When a ring made many years earlier comes back into the workshop for a check and clean, and the ring has been trashed.

Best tip from a jeweller:

My foreman when I was an apprentice would tell me “It can't win, it's only metal.

Best tip to a jeweller:

Have patience and always put in that extra minute to properly finish a job.

Biggest health concern on the bench:

Deteriorating eyesight and Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI) in my wrists.

Love jewellery because:

Looking at a job and working out how to make it. I enjoy the challenge of making something new and different. I love the conceptual struggle of lifting the idea off a page and making it better. There’s always more to learn.





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