Cascade – not to be

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I remember watching Usain Bolt at the last Olympics, win yet another gold medal and commenting to my kids he didn’t always win every time. There were a lot of near misses, third places, hard work and disappointments along the way.

My team of jewellery designers at Stephen Dibb Jewellers at Cleveland and Holland Park haven’t won every single competition we have entered. But when it comes to perseverance and consistent development, we have won our share.
The journey of a jewellery designer

I was going through our design archives the other day and came across my first design competition design. I was a 2nd year apprentice and it was the late 70’s, early 80’s and the company I worked for did some very interesting work suspending diamonds in clear resin. This made the diamonds look like they were suspended in mid-air.

It looked great and I designed this piece so it looked like water is trapped in parallel channels. The centre piece was to be made from a long piece of 18ct yellow gold with an 18ct yellow gold round wire continuing around the neck. The suspended diamond look was created by half filling the channel with clear resin, letting it set then positioning the diamonds then covering the top half with the resin.

The company I was working for loved the design and gave me the go ahead to make and enter the piece in the Jewellery Association of Australia Design awards. I even made a proto-type of the centre in base metal to prove it could be done and to get the size and proportions correct.

All systems were go when I had a work accident…

I broke the tip of my finger in a security door and I was disappointed to say the least. My first design I called ‘Cascade’ was never to be.

Fortunately in my final year of my apprenticeship, I designed and created another unusual pendant that went on to win the apprentice section of the National Jewellery Association of Australia design awards. It was the first time the company I worked for ever won an award and they were almost as proud as my parents.

Since starting my own company over 25 years ago my team of designers and apprentices have entered, made finalist, won and lost many awards. What if I gave up? I would have missed an amazing journey.

To find out more about our industry achievements and unique designs, book an appointment with us or come by our stores in Cleveland or Holland Park. Alternatively to view more of our entries view our website sdj.com.au, World of Stephen Dibb – Most awarded Jeweller in Queensland. Like Formula 1 racing, what we learn in these competitions filters down to our daily designs.

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