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Going to Working in the UK

Howdy Orchidians, My name is Raymond Lees, I am a qualified jeweller
and for the past 10 years I have been working in a few different
workshops in Sydney and the Central Coast of Australia trying to get
experience in as many different area’s of the jewellery industry as
possible. For the first 8 years I was doing mainly handmade work and
repairs with some wax carving aswell as some workshop management, and
for the past 2 years I have been wax carving full time at work and
handmade work at home.

My wife and I have decided that we need a bit of adventure, so we
are coming to the UK on a working holiday, most probably London. We
arrive in London on the 7th of April and so far the only thing we
have fully planned is to go to the Vicenza trade fair in Italy in

What I’m wondering is where around London would be the best place to
start looking for work??? We have never been to the UK before so I
don’t know where the bulk of Jewellery workshops would be or even the
type of work that most of the workshops do. Also, is it normal for
most people to be full time employee’s or do most work on contract
with a Limited Company??? Or is contract work more feasible in
corporate office and IT jobs???

So if anyone out there has any pearls of wisdom they could offer I
would be very grateful, or even if some of you out there would
appreciate a visit from a fellow Orchid member, I would love to make
as many contacts as possible (I don’t want to be the typical Aussie
in London hanging out with other Australians)

If anyone would like to know more about me please feel free to email
me and hopefully I’ll have my web gallery up soon (It’s a work in
progress that is nearing completion.)

Thanks in Advance
Raymond Lees

Hi’ Hatton Garden will be the place as a center for all the trade
,but off ours there will be goldsgreen up in the north west of
London and not to forget the high end jewellers on bond street. good
luck in there ,the cost of living is way too high and if you want to
live near this areas that I mentioned, prepare your self for some
hefty rent. my advice is to stay with the wax carving and you can do
it from home. I was there in 1990 and it was fun for one year after
that I was ready to get the **** out of there I’m sure things are
much different now (jewellery point of view). Soooooo please have fun
and send my best regards to the Queen. Dikran from sunny San Diego

Hello Raymond,

Birmingham and the Midlands is the jewellry centre of the UK, with
many workshops and factories all centrally located in the Jewellery
Quarter. However, the London has it’s jewellry centre in the Hatton
Garden neighborhood. Alfred Terry is a good, high end manufacturer of
18ct and platinum jewellery in the London area, that may require your
specialty skills (wax carving) as they generate their own designs and
styles. Stephen Webster, a highly renowned London designer may also
need someone to carve waxes. Hean Studios, in Kingsland is a high end
contract caster, may want to offer your skills as a service to his
clientele. In the Birmingham/Midlands there is Weston Beamor/Domino,
Abbey Crest, Platenaur, University of Central England Jewellery
School, etc.

I worked in England on a three year work contract, as a US citizen.
I don’t know, but I would be willing to bet that it would be easier
for an Australian to work in the UK than an an American. I had to
have working visa sponsorship by my employer.



Thanks for the info, hopefully my wife an I won’t have to live too
far away from where I get a job, but if we do I am used to travelling
2 hours to get to work here in Australia. I’ve been doing that for
the past 4 years so that I could get some experience doing different
kinds of work. When you travel that far it’s amazing how different
the market is… I went from making an average engagement ring of
0.20 - 0.30ct to regularly making rings for carat stones and
larger… it was a bit of a shock for me at first.

Again thanks
Raymond Lees

And sometimes that long commute can amount to some really good
meditation time, so long as you pay attention to the road, too.
Bonus!!! Jim