Meet the Makers: Matt, Our Diamond Mounter
Getting to know a skilled diamond mounter
Taylor & Hart would be nothing without the intrepid and talented team of artisans who make up our in-house workshop. We want you to get to know the people behind our crafting process and this month we sat down to interview Matt, one of our skilled diamond mounters, to find out more about his journey into the jewellery industry.
Hailing from Beckenham, London, Matt trained at one of the best jewellery courses in the country, going on to work for some of London’s most prestigious brands. When Matt came to us, we knew each gemstone that was mounted in our workshop would be in safe hands.
How did you get started in the jewellery industry?
M: After finishing sixth form, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I went to the local college to search for a profession to train in. I chose a year-long foundation course in jewellery making at the Goldsmith’s centre in Farringdon, London. It was great because you get to learn a little bit about everything. You learn about setting, mounting, and silversmithing, along with enamelling and engraving. I really enjoyed the course and I was only 19 at the time.
What do you specialise in today?
M: I’m a diamond mounter. I make the mounts and the rings that the stones are set into. I don’t set the stones myself, but I make the mount and polish them.
After your foundation course, where did you begin working?
M: When you finish your foundation course you lay out all your work, then people come and scout you. I worked at [the international jewellery company] Graff and it was a very interesting job. We always used such large, amazing diamonds and gemstones. My very first job there I was working on a pair of 2ct diamond studs! I worked at Graff for five, almost six years.
After that, I moved into self-employment because it was easier to take on multiple jobs. It means that I can work for various companies but also work for myself. Sometimes I get commissioned for private jobs to craft bespoke jewellery, or engagement rings.
If you hand make jewellery, you can start with a bar of platinum and turn it into something completely different. I really enjoy making things to be honest, I enjoy the transformational aspect of it.
Matt, Diamond Mounter
How has your craft developed over the years?
M: When you work at just one place, it develops slowly. You can’t expect a huge amount of improvement when you are working on the same thing over and over again. But since I’ve started at Taylor & Hart, I’ve improved a lot because I do completely different work.
What is your favourite aspect about your work?
M: Creating something out of nothing. If you hand make jewellery, you can start with a bar of platinum and turn it into something completely different. I really enjoy making things to be honest, I enjoy the transformational aspect of it.
It’s all about how you use your hands and how doing something only slightly differently will make your work a lot better. I enjoy the high level of accuracy involved in crafting jewellery. If I’m making something, it takes so long because I will spend quite a long time working on the small details, to make it really sharp or correct.
Tell us about your masterpiece.
M: The masterpiece is the last piece that you create on your apprenticeship where you make something that is the culmination of all skills. You get to hand make the piece and keep it when you finish. It’s a highly technical piece made out of platinum and gold. The most impressive bit is on the back where there are these little weird tentacles. I entered it into the Goldsmith’s competition for mounting and it won gold in the junior competition! They initially thought it was made by CAD, not handmade.
What is the most interesting stone you’ve worked with?
M: The most interesting stone I’ve ever worked with was a pear shaped blue diamond. It was 1.2ct, vivid blue, and worth about £1.2 million. But it was still small enough that I could hide it in my fingertips. There was one day when we were working on it when I was walking down the road and saw a Ferrari. I went by thinking, ‘I have a stone worth more money hiding between my fingertips!’ It’s insane, isn’t it?
Matt's Masterpiece Creation
We’d like to thank Matt for giving us such an interesting insight into his jewellery career! Many may not be familiar with all the different specialities within jewellery making, and it’s a real treat to better understand the role of a diamond mounter. We’re lucky to have such inspiring and dedicated artisans within our team here at Taylor & Hart, and we look forward to introducing you to all of them.