In our next Sector Spotlight on Creative Industries, we hear from Olivia Yorston who is a Master Pattern Maker at Sheila Fleet Jewellery.
Olivia Left school at 15 with no formal qualifications and worked as a Florists for four years. Following a tour at Sheila Fleet’s workshop in Tankerness, she was offered a work trial with the business. Olivia started as a Craft Person before being offered the chance to develop further and train to become the Master Pattern Maker.
Can you describe a typical day in your role as Master Pattern Maker?
My work day varies drastically day to day. The main aspects of my job is working with Sheila, the designer and owner of the business, to bring her ideas to life. I use her images, drawings, designs and transfer them to the metal to saw, pierce, hammer, file, sand, texture and carve into a form she is happy with.
How did you end up in this role?
After leaving school I was a Florist for four years, being naturally creative minded, I loved my work there, but felt I needed more of a challenge. After going for a tour one Sunday in the workshop in Tankerness, Sheila asked me if I would like to have a trial on the bench. I eagerly accepted and then became a Crafts Person, producing jewellery by trimming castings, polishing and setting stones for customers. A couple years into this role I was given the opportunity to expand my skills and knowledge and take on the role of Master Pattern Maker (in training).
What is the best thing about your job?
Seeing ideas come to life, after a painstakingly meticulous process, the satisfaction when it pays off and looks how you intended or better.
What is the worst thing about your job?
When things don’t go to plan. Messing things up by melting or over-sanding, cutting the wrong piece off. Everyone has bad days and makes mistakes, it is all a learning curve.
What skills do you need to undertake your role?
What qualifications do you have?
Having left school at 15, I have no formal qualifications.
Would you recommend this job to young people, if so why?
I would, it is an amazing skill to learn and expand knowledge. It is somewhat of a dying trade (making handmade jewellery) isn’t as common these days with computer aided design. There is a love of seeing something you’ve made with your own hands come together.
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