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My Bench













My Bench: Richelle Perks

JUNE SPOTLIGHT:
Richelle Perks will never stop exploring the different parts of the trade.
RICHELLE PERKS

 

Works at: Stephen Dibb Jewellery

Age: 29

Years in trade: 8 years

Training: Four-year apprenticeship

First job: I started my apprenticeship in 2012 at Goldleaf Enterprises. This was my first job in the jewellery industry

Other qualifications: Diploma in Graphic Design

SIGNATURE PIECE:
 
NEPHILA LUCILIA NECKLACE
WINNER – Australian pearl design master & People’S CHOICE AWARD
AUSTRALIAN PEARL JEWELLERY DESIGN MASTERS 2018

This necklace with a detachable spider brooch and green bottle fly clasp was handmade in 9-carat yellow and white gold, Australian South Sea Pearls, black diamonds and Tsavorite garnets. The name comes from the scientific terms for the Golden Orb Weaver spider and the green bottle fly.

Favourite gemstone:

Australian sapphires. I recently visited the Australian gemfields and it was so amazing to see where the sapphires come from. 

Peter Brown from Rubyvale Gem Gallery and his family gave me a wonderful insight into the whole process, from mine to beautifully cut gemstone, and I now have an even greater appreciation for Australian sapphires.

Favourite metal:

Platinum; I just love that it takes such extreme temperatures to solder and fuse.

Favourite tool:

My favourite tools are the ones that were given to me by special people in my life, so when I use the tool I always think of them. They are mostly engraved saying who they are from.

Best new tool discovery:

Lindsay graver-sharpening templates. They just make the most crisp surfaces on gravers.

Best part of job:

I love making Mokume Gane billets from scratch – seeing the different patterns that come out is always exciting.

I also love that every day is different, with different pieces to work on, and we get to see some amazing pieces of jewellery.

Worst part of job:

Repairing pieces of jewellery that are mass-produced and poorly made that just fall apart.

Best tip from a jeweller:

You are only as good as the last job you do, so do every job to a high standard.

Best tip to a jeweller:

Don’t stop exploring the many interesting areas of our trade.

Biggest health concern on the bench:

Breathing in dust and chemicals and keeping active outside of work, as we sit most of the day.

Love jewellery because:

I love creating unique pieces and making designs come to life. Even repairing jewellery can feel so satisfying.


 

 











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