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My Bench













My Bench: Zoë Pook

MARCH SPOTLIGHT:
Zoë Pook's best tip to a jeweller is to set boundaries with clients and learn when and how to say no.
ZOË POOK


Works at: Zoë Pook Jewellery, Sydney NSW

Age: 46 

Years in trade: 15

Training: Higher National Certificate in Silversmithing & Jewellery from university in London, plus learning the tricks of the trade from two London jewellers

First job: Ben Day Jewellery

Other qualifications: Expert at talking to myself when I work and thus confusing all my staff

SIGNATURE PIECE:
 
KALI RING
SILENT AUCTION DONATION, SYDNEY PEACE PRIZE 2019

Named after the Hindu goddess Kali, the destroyer of evil forces and liberator of souls, this ring is handcrafted in 18-carat Fairtrade white gold with Sri Lankan sapphire and Australian diamond.

Favourite gemstone:

Spinel, because it is hard, beautiful, comes in unusual colours, is underrated, not crazy expensive, and – for those gem nerds – singly refractive. My absolute favourite is grey spinel, I have way too many!

Favourite metal:

To work with, it’s yellow gold – so easy. To look at, rose gold – but what a pain in the a*se to work with!

Favourite tool:

Safety back needle file. I love the sharp edges, and it has an ergonomic feel. Failing that, a ‘whacker’ – a bent, old, drill bit that spreads the metal to cover porosity, create a nice texture and smooth out bumps.

Best new tool discovery:

Mini clamps by Tyler Brothers, Habras discs – I was skeptical at first but one of my jewellers put me onto them – Tappa Tools mini graphite ingots, or a laser welder.

Best part of job:

Tea break, and sitting at the bench chatting with everyone, weighing in on problems and finding solutions! I also quite like the peace and quiet of early evening in the studio, with the music on, working on a piece by myself.

Worst part of job:

Polishing, and managing clients’ expectations.

Best tip from a jeweller:

When stuck for design inspiration, make something you yourself would wear. Oh, and don’t under-quote!

Best tip to a jeweller:

Set boundaries with clients and learn when and how to say no.

Biggest health concern on the bench:

Dust and polishing compounds in your lungs. We have recently got some new fancy masks, which I now just need to remember to put on!

Love jewellery because:

It’s one of the oldest ways for us humans to adorn ourselves, to show our individuality or tribe, to be creative. It’s worn by everyone, old or young, from any culture.

 
 

 

 

 











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