A CAREFULLY crafted piece of jewellery can last for decades in both quality and style.
And learning to create such pieces is a specialised art that takes an eye for design and hand for craftsmanship.
With a shortage of such jewellers across the country, Narooma’s award-winning apprentice Jyothi Forman is a precious find.
In her second year at Georgies Fine Jewellery in Narooma, Jyothi is proving to be a talented jeweller after taking out the Nathan Cameron Apprentice of the Year Award for her craftsmanship skills on Sunday, September 1.
“Winning the award was fantastic and has definitely improved my confidence…I was so proud to be up there representing Georgies Fine Jewellery,” Jyothi said.
The competition is run by Nationwide, which is an Australasian group of over 500 stores, which includes Georgies.
Entrants are given a template with strict terms to follow, they must work alone and when finished all work from first to fourth year apprentices is judged in one category.
It can be a tough competition, especially when first years are pitted against those with a few years practice under their belts, but Jyothi’s skill was so polished that judges took note.
In conversation with judges after the event, Georgies Fine Jewellery owner Georgie Staley said the judges were surprised at the high quality of the work.
Taking over 20 hours to create, Jyothi's piece was a sterling silver three collet ring with the centre collet being in an Emerald shape and two round collets each side.
“Making this piece also improved my skills which has made me more efficient at work and has given me more confidence for future competitions,” Jyothi said.
Talking about the value of staff with skills, Ms Staley said there was a huge shortage of jewellers.
“This took a lot of skill for her to produce correctly,” Ms Staley said.
“We are really proud of Jyothi's achievements; she showed a lot maturity and ambition by working on her project after hours and on weekends.”
As a valued team member in Georgies workshop, Jyothi's skills see her doing not only resizes and minor repairs but also creating and making pieces for customers.
“I’ll be doing a gemmology course, so I will be a gemmologist as well,” Jyothi said.
The gemmology course will enable Jyothi to credibly identify stones, and assess their condition and potential for jewellery making.