From Jeremy Hoye to running a brand with help from The Prince's Trust.
BenchPro meets Keir O’Brine, fine jeweller and former Jeremy Hoye apprentice now running his own fine jewellery brand in Brighton.
BenchPro: Tell us about your time as an apprentice — where did you work and what did you focus on?
Keir O’Brine: I started my career in Hatton Garden before moving to Brighton to be an apprenticeship with Jeremy Hoye. I learnt everything needed to make jewellery from start to finish and I had the opportunity to practice a wide range of skills on a daily basis. At the start it felt a bit like I was thrown in at the deep end, but the other jewellers were really friendly and happy to help me when I got stuck.
BP: What was the most interesting thing you learnt during you time as an apprentice?
KO’B: The most interesting thing for me was being able to watch experienced jewellers work and learn little shortcuts and different techniques; they make a big difference in helping you work quicker and to a higher standard. CAD design is something I learnt towards the end of my apprenticeship. I really enjoy using it because I have lots of ideas and being able to make them using CAD helps me to decide what works and what doesn’t. It’s a great way of saving time and money before making something at the bench.
BP: You have now decided to launch your own business — tell us about your plans for Keir Patrick Jewellery
KO’B: Since I completed my Diamond Grading Diploma through the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), I’ve been working with The Prince’s Trust, which has been helping me to develop my knowledge of what’s needed to start a business. I now feel confident that it’s the right time for me to become self employed and I’m really excited. My overall goal is to just make jewellery that people will enjoy wearing.
This Apprentice Outlook was taken from the second issue of BenchPro magazine. To read the issue in full online after the November issue of Professional Jeweller, click here.