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Work History

The information here is derived from a previous CV - updated 05.

1. Brief overview of my jewellery making experience
2. Skills
3. Reverse Chronology
4. Other

Brief overview of my jewellery making experience

I was apprenticed in 1988 in jewellery manufacturing and repair. Initially, I worked on what I consider mass-produced pieces. My duties included: making models, injecting waxes, creating trees (casting term for the tree like shape used when many waxes are used in the lost wax process), cleaning up and polishing castings and assembling cast and handmade chain. I also learned about hand made manufacture and repair. I later started out on my own and soon began to concentrate solely on designing and making engagements rings. I established my own word of mouth business. Since the early days, I have worked at numerous different workshops as well as in my own business, and accomplished a wide assortment of skilled tasks. During the same time, I took a University degree in Politics and Law. Most recently, I travelled to the UK to further enhance my skills and knowledge of the wider aspects of the jewellery industry. I bought a workshop in the Melbourne CBD in the Century Building. I have been offering custom made pieces the past six months through the Internet.

This is an exciting step for me. By utilising the electronic medium, I can keep overheads low whilst accessing the world market and in doing so, offer professional advice and a specialised service to those wanting highly skilled design and manufacture.

It is great to be able to use: all my experiences, subsequent skills, machinery and have a general focus in the one area.

Skills

I have had extensive experience with a wide range of jewellery making skills, including: remodelling, setting -channel, bezel, rubbed-over, grain/pave', roman and claw. I have worked behind the bench designing and re-creating engagement and dress rings, bracelets, chains, locks, intricately styled charms etc and many other, less common designs. I work predominantly with platinum and gold diamond jewellery though I use silver extensively for design purposes. I have worked with titanium, steel and other mediums. My wax carving includes portraits and other intricate items, as well as settings. I have had good success with jewellery photography.

I continue to learn about diamonds and the diamond market. I am eagerly studying successful Internet e-tailors and well-known custom designers alike, and discovering volumes about what customers expect from high-end retailers. I am at the beginning of my web-design career, and I am on a strong learning curve there.

I have a good knowledge of the trade's best practices as I operated a business in Europe's largest conglomeration of jewellers, Birmingham, UK where I was lucky enough to work with many and varied specialists in all areas of jewellery manufacture. I learnt from those both using skills close to those I utilise, and others far removed yet complimentary.

I believe through my skills and my adherence to learning from the best I can offer excellent hands on skills and best practices.

Reverse chronology

2005 - 2004 Platinumsmith @ 20 th Jan, 2005

Currently I am working in my own workshop offering custom made jewellery through the Internet and word of mouth on a pretty casual basis. I expect to invest heavily on producing original designs and a fully equipped e-commerce web site. I am also contracting as a setter within the local jeweller trade.

2004 - 2002 UK

I shared a workshop in the jewellery quarter contracting my hand forging and design work for designer galleries. I also catered for Internet jewellery companies: setting, and model making and mounting for various e-tailors. Most of my clients considered me as a setter and high-end jewellery designer. Most of the work from the e-tailors was cast, off the shelf mounts that were provided to me assembled, but I often made alterations in platinum to compliment my setting tasks.

I regularly contracted jewellery specialists and did a large amount of private commissions.

2002 Outworking and Jobbing

Working on a self-employed basis and as an outworker, doing piecework with a jobbing jeweller in Colchester UK. My time was divided between: training co-workers, doing repairs, setting designing and making custom made jewellery, assembling and other general tasks relating to the average 'High Street' jeweller.

2001 Jewellery Manufacturing

I was employed to make one-off pieces predominately in Platinum. I was able to refine my setting skills with a repetition of claw set and channel set jobs for the company's second tear, involving stock items. I had the luxury of working with complicated precision pieces, without restraint.

2000-2001 (Nov-April) Jewellery Manufacturing

I have worked as a contractor in an up-market suburb in Melbourne, Australia, trading under " Horizon Gold Dizign ".

My typical day included: Remaking/remodelling rings (mostly estate), wax carving, making pearl clasps, rebuilding & lowering settings (most of the jobs involved white gold and typically I would use the customer's stones and gold) and the manufacture of modern style rings to exact specifications. Repairs included: stetting, new claws - retips, resizing and engraving. I often looked after the shop, took orders and made sales.

1988-1996 Jewellery Manufacturing - General Experience

By the age of twenty-two I was completely self-employed, and in control of many responsibilities. I generated my own income and I believe this experience has instilled in me a strong work ethic and the necessary appreciation for time management. I learnt to juggle many jobs at once in an effort to meet crucial deadlines. I worked in many different workshops. In short, I:

Underwent training, as an apprentice and trade school
Went into business for myself, at the beginning working from home I worked with various jewellers in and around Australia and the world Developed a large customer base mainly through word of mouth
Worked in a shop (in partnership) fulfilling its workload and bringing in my own customers
Re-created 'classic' design rings, pendants, bracelets and earring's including antique jewellery making engagement rings; developed my own style
Traded as a sole-proprietor in the jewellery trade, involving numerous tasks, such as buying, sales, advertising, bookkeeping, filing, accounts and after sale service
Practiced other skills, such as stone setting, engraving, wax carving and sketching
Prioritised client needs whilst meeting crucial deadlines (e.g. Wedding dates)
I successfully studied whilst operating a jewellery business, averaging the overall mark of above eighty percent (in VCE).
I continued making jewellery pieces on a selected basis throughout the later years of my (BA and LLB) degree

Other

2005 Farm hand

Initially, I came back to Australia to help my father on his farm. Farm work is too varied to detail here. My favourite jobs are tractor work, chain sawing, welding and building; working with cattle, feeding. actually it is all good. (except the money).

2001-2002 (Dec-May) English teaching abroad

During my travels I lived in Russia. I began teaching English classes and gave private tuition. I learnt allot about teaching English grammar, because I worked with Russian/English teachers who had taught themselves by the book, and I found myself teaching from a book, which I also had to learn. I also took Russian language courses and lived amongst Russians enjoying the culture in St-Petersburg - fine arts, Performing arts, food, partying, and drinking vodka whilst we braved the weather.

I also taught English as a second job in the UK while my jewellery business was starting up. My clientele were predominately German managers from the German automotive industry. It was through their encouragements that I have taken steps to eliminate the middleman and directly access the retail market.

2000 Para-legal

The three law firms I worked at: Freehills, Mallessons Stephens Jaques & Corrs Chambers Westgarth were known to be of the top ten law firms in Melbourne - with multi national connections. I worked as a para legal research for the IP department at Corrs for a while which was usefull and I gained some data entry experience (hence this site), but at the time I was a law student and keen to become part of life in a law firm. 

1998 - 1999 Fitzroy Legal Service

Volunteer work, providing advice as a law student; working with solicitors and other students

1988-1994 Other Experience

Fitted workshops for myself in co-operation with other jewellers and builders
Built my current workbench with my dad
Renovated houses, fixed and built fences
Retrained ex-racehorses for use as pony-club, hunting, dressage and all-purpose horses
Travelling - backpacked through India (1996) and Europe/UK (1998)

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Ph   +61 3 9663 0777 - Suite 808A, Level 8, 125 Swanston Street Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 3000. 
Email   Phillip Schmidt


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