For our next Sector Spotlight on the Creative Industries, we hear from Erica Drever who is an Enameller at Sheila Fleet’s.
After studying at Orkney College UHI, Erica was looking for a job and, as she has always admired Sheila Fleet’s jewellery, she phoned up the workshop and asked if there were any job opportunities. She was invited in for a trial and 10 years later she is still there.
Can you describe a typical day in your role as an Enameller?
My job is to apply the glass enamel to the jewellery. The orders come into the enamel room and we work in date order, taking a few boxes off the shelves to work on. Everything is made to order so we get a complete mixture of pieces in all the time, which keeps it interesting. We use anything from one to seven colours of enamel in a piece. Laying the colours in and blending between each one so it flows from one to the next. Pieces are then fired in a kiln at 840 degrees.
How did you end up in this role?
I had studied at Orkney College and had always admired Sheila’s jewellery and was looking for a job. I phoned up the workshop and asked if there were any job opportunities, Martin then phoned me up and organised for me to come in for a trial in the enamel room, 10 years later I’m still there.
What is the best thing about your job?
I get to work as part of a small team, we are great friends and we basically get to colour in all day. It’s lovely to see the jewellery come to life after the enamel is applied.
What is the worst thing about your job?
When things go wrong and can’t be fixed. Mistakes can happen, we’re all human.
What skills do you need to undertake your role?
What qualifications do you have?
Would you recommend this job to young people, if so why?
Yes, it is great to be part of creative industry and it gives you a great sense of achievement when you see the finished product and it’s just a fun job to have, like I said colouring in!
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