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Articles from INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS (259 Articles)

The new group is designed for broad minded and forward thinking jewellers
The new group is designed for broad minded and forward thinking jewellers
 









New “progressive” jewellery group emerges

All jewellery made in Asia is rubbish! Chain stores are a blight on the Australian jewellery retailing landscape, and CAD/CAM is damaging the industry. Everything was better in the good old days!

That pretty much sums up the views of some of the more vocal members of the Young Jewellers Group (YJG) on Facebook. The YJG was established June 2011, and its membership grew quickly but over recent months there has been increasing disenchantment with members no longer participating or leaving the group.


The disharmony has in part led to the formation of the ANZ Progressive Jewellery Group (ANZJG). The new Facebook group has a simple mission statement, “This group has been created to encourage and educate jewellers of all persuasions with up to date information on tools and techniques. We do not discriminate against students or apprentices, bench jewellers, setters, engravers or masters.”

But the next statement is more telling, “Trolling will not be tolerated. Condescending dogma will not be tolerated.”

Trolling is an internet term used to describe someone who posts inflammatory, irrelevant or off-topic messages with the primary intent of provoking readers into an emotional response and/or disrupting normal discussion about a topic.

Hostility
Many believe that a small number of YJG members are often antagonistic and hostile towards other members who do not share their views, which has led to the disharmony.

Australian Anthony Nolan formed the ANZJG along with New Zealander David Parry. Nolan said he loved the idea of YJG and it was a much-needed forum for young jewellers but that it has its problems. 

“This new group is in no way a revolt against the YJG. However, I think somewhere along the line, the message of positively inspiring, educating and encouraging jewellers was replaced with a nasty underlying tone from a small minority whose condescending comments and old world dogma would make an extreme right wing housewife cheer,” Nolan told Jeweller

“Like some who were initially a part of YJG, I felt I couldn't continue. The new group, ANZ Progressive Jewellers Group, has been designed for those broad minded and forward thinking jewellers who either feel they have something to offer their likeminded peers and colleagues or perhaps wish to learn more about their trade and aspects within it,” he added.

Those sentiments are echoed by others who feel the YJG has lost its way and is occasionally hijacked by a small minority who seem to denigrate and sometimes attack anyone who does not share their views. 

Adelaide-based jeweller Mollie Burford said, “I think YJG is a fantastic idea, but the whole CAD/technology debate gets old after a while.”

She said she believed there was an underlying feeling on the site that jewellers using CAD carried a stigma as being somewhat “lesser” than handmakers.

“I'm tired of defending myself and reminding folks that I handmake as well,” she said. 

“I learned from two truly world-class jewellers so I really don't enjoy feeling like I need to justify my business decisions or prove my hand skills to folks. That being said, YJG is a great resource and I've found members very helpful and supportive in regards to technical questions, sourcing materials, and design commentary/questions,” Burford added.

Burford has added her name to those of around 100 other members who have joined the group in a relatively short time.

Another former YJG member who asked not to be identified said, “I tuned out of that group (YJG) a while ago. Too much of the same discussion and more about manufacturing jewellers than about the [wider] industry. I tuned out because even though we spoke about the problems nobody was really putting forward solutions or putting things into action.

“I'm happy to see and work with this new group. It’s always better to be positive and helpful. I think we all have to look at the industry from the other side’s point of view to make it better,” he added. 

High profile Sydney-based jeweller Victoria Buckley had also become disillusioned by the YJG, saying that, “The content was increasingly off topic, and often negative in tone, rather than adding value to members.”

Buckley stopped contributing to the YJG for some time. 

Chris Botha, a manufacturing jeweller and one of YJG’s first members, also stopped contributing late last year. 

Botha, an active contributor who was highly respected for both his industry knowledge as well as his wit, quietly disappeared from YJG and it did not take long for other members to notice. It prompted one member to ask where he and Victoria Buckley had gone and why they were no longer participating in the forum. 

Narcissism
Another former YJG member, who also asked to remain anonymous, said she stopped visiting because of the narcissism. 

“Some of the posts bordered on [being] racist and some certainly seemed sexist with discussion about female employees. Social media and industry forums like YJG often get hijacked by loud narcissists but when people started posting pictures of their holiday homes and bragging about how much money they make, it was time for me to leave,” she said.

“I don’t want to read endless posts by people bragging to me about how good they are. I want to learn things about my industry,” the Sydney-based jeweller added. 
 
Burford agreed, “I'm really excited about the group that Anthony [Nolan] and David [Parry] have started! It's a breath of fresh air to have a space to comment, post work, and share ideas with other like-minded individuals who also embrace technology.”

Buckley added, “The new group is active and positive. Content rich contributors like Chris [Botha] are essential on a forum like ANZ Jewellers Group. YJG has too few members contributing relevant new content, and a tendency to go off topic, so I don't really have time to keep up with it but I do recognise it as a place of value for many of us a different times. I think all forums ebb and flow as prominent users change. We're lucky to have some options!”

Parry, the group’s administrator, said, “This group will be fairly moderated to ensure a professional style. It will be a clean and respectful place to share our trade insights and design directions.”

Nolan added, “The population of the group consists largely of Australasian jewellers and some specialists from overseas. Of course we welcome all jewellers, designers, setters, engravers, etc, who feel they can contribute to the group in a positive manner.”

Ewen Ryley, YJG’s administrator was contacted for comment but at the time of publication he had not responded. 

More information
ANZ Progressive Jeweller Group










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Saturday, 18 January, 2020 05:40am
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