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Meet the Makers: Sharon, Our Diamond Mounter

Our in-house workshop is filled to the brim with experts in craft who combine their traditional training with cutting edge technology to ensure each and every one of our rings are crafted to the highest standard.

And getting to know the people who sit on the benches day-by-day, we build a greater connection with each precious ring, as well as learning a little more about each other. In our latest installment of our Meet The Makers series, we’re giving you a peek behind the curtain to introduce you to Sharon, our diamond mounter.

Ten, perhaps twenty years ago, it wouldn’t have been commonplace to see a woman working on the benches of jewellery workshops and we love that we’re seeing more and more of this. In anticipation of the upcoming 112th International Women’s Day, Sharon talks us through how she forged her way into the industry and her vision for the future.

sharon meet the makers

How did you get started in the jewellery industry?

I started my journey to becoming a Goldsmith at 15. It all started back at secondary school when I was studying Design Technology, which had just introduced a new jewellery scheme. I was taught and mentored by Goldsmith Paul Ravn. I really enjoyed the jewellery making process and always looked forward to my DT classes so I knew from that moment on I wanted to pursue a career in jewellery.

Tell us about your qualifications and studies in jewellery.

In 2013, I enrolled myself in a full-time foundation course at The Goldsmiths Centre. While I was waiting to hear back, I also enrolled myself in a four-week summer jewellery course at Holt’s Academy.

Not long after finishing the Holts course, I heard back from The Goldsmiths Centre and had invited me in for an interview. After all the assessments, I was thrilled to be accepted on the course and start my journey in the jewellery industry.

Throughout the year of my foundation course I was taught by expert craftspeople who shared various traditional techniques with me, such as fine jewellery making, silversmithing, enamelling, engraving, setting and alongside contemporary processes such as Computer Aided Design (CAD).

After completing the foundation course I was able to continue my studies in the jewellery trade and start an apprenticeship specialising in diamond mounting. As part of an apprenticeship, apprentices are officially bound to a Master–typically a craftsperson who will mentor the apprentice and offer them employment whilst they master their skills. I was bound to Goldsmith Jos Skeates in 2014 and worked alongside him as an apprentice for four years in his jewellery shop.

During my apprenticeship I also took part in national Jewellery competitions such as The Goldsmiths Craft and Design Council based in London and The UK Skills Show in Birmingham where I received medals and awards for my achievements. It was really motivating to be recognised for my work and my confidence grew.

sharon meet the makers

What’s your specialism?

I specialise in diamond mounting which takes a great amount of accuracy and precision–hand making a ring and its framework in which diamonds or gemstones can be set.

How has your craft developed over the years?

My craft has developed over the years in so many ways. It’s definitely been a rollercoaster, but despite all of that, I’m grateful for the journey I’ve had throughout my 11 years in the jewellery trade.

I’ve developed through challenging experiences, working on a range of pieces, making mistakes, receiving feedback, communication with master craftspeople, obtaining additional skills, pushing myself, problem solving and mastering my craft and my abilities.


What is your favourite aspect about your work?

I’d say bringing each piece that I make from scratch to life, knowing very well that this person will forever cherish their piece.

I also love hearing feedback from customers once they’ve received their ring. It’s always such a rewarding feeling when a customer is happy with what you put a huge amount of effort into. I also love that no day is ever the same and I get to work on a variety of job types from repairs and resizing to re-tipping and re-modelling.

Tell us about your masterpiece.

Back in 2018, in the final year of my apprenticeship before becoming a Goldsmith, I was tasked with producing my masterpiece. This is a project that every Goldsmith undertakes to demonstrate all of the skills they’ve learnt throughout their training

This was the ultimate test. I gave myself a bit of a challenge and really stepped out of my comfort zone and decided to make a tiara.

Making a tiara involved a fair few traditional skills and techniques, such as back holes, gallery work, piercing out, soldering and forming, and I was so pleased with the end result.

sharon meet the makers masterpiece

What is the most interesting stone or design you’ve worked with?

I can’t decide! I’ve worked on so many designs. I will say that the most interesting and enjoyable process for me is the bespoke process. I love creating unique and handcrafted pieces which have initially been conceptualised by customers and I help them bring their ideas to life!

What’s it like being the only woman in the workshop?

While I was studying, there were only two girls in my class, but there’s definitely more women in the industry now. When I’m in the workshop, I don’t really think about it because it’s totally normal for me. It’s empowering to be here!

We’d like to thank Sharon for giving us such an interesting and deep insight into her jewellery career. It’s a real treat to better understand the role our diamond mounters have in the workshop and we look forward to introducing you to more of them in the future.

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