Jackson’s Jewellery at WorldSkills

This story is about Luke Jackson and his deep and confident passion for jewellery, dispelling the belief that the art of jewellery making and design is a female-oriented trade.

About Jewellery Making At WorldSkills:

Perhaps surprisingly, the jewellery-making category in WorldSkills is well-balanced in male/female competitors. This category is a budding source of talent, with competitors taking part in WorldSkills on an international level since 1982. Ten competitors will create three modular pieces over 18 hours.

This year is the first time the category will make a modular project, instead of an overall piece. This is in keeping with the international style of competition. The competitors will be making projects with 18 carat gold so will be judged on their ability to retain of the metal in its fine, expensive form. Other elements to be critiqued include accuracy of measurement, similarity to design, soldering technique and surface finishing. Judges will also be upholding the importance of the French technique of a′jour – “the removal of metal,” dating back to the Art Nouveau style of the 1890’s. This involves the competitors very skilfully using a handsaw to remove pieces of metal from the piece they will be working on.

This category concentrates solely on the skills of making jewellery and not design, which is very rare in competition of jewellery, where design often usurps the importance of skill and quality.

About Luke Jackson:

Luke Jackson is a passionate, 19-year old second-year apprentice jeweller at Verity Jewellers in Garden City. He began his trade by working in his parents’ jewellery store for work experience and immediately fell in love with the idea of using jewellery to be creative and work with his hands.

“I make, repair and design jewellery. I wouldn’t want to do anything else.”

Luke is a vibrant, easy-going young man who isn’t perturbed by the fact that he is a male making and designing jewellery – he uses his confident personality to embrace it.

The young talent lives with his mother, who owns the family jewellery business, and his two brothers. Luke is currently in competition run by AGR (bullion company) and has made it to the national finals after only one year of learning his trade.

Luke’s TAFE teacher and mentor, Peter Keet, is also a family friend. Peter worked alongside Luke’s father and watched Luke grow up until finally teaching him at TAFE and becoming a mentor.

VJ Rodney Meier