John Allchin

It was in the 1960s while working as a fisherman that I discovered my interest in jewellery making. Scuba diving on historic Dutch wrecks at the Abrolhos Islands and the coast north of Kalbarri, I recovered a significant number of silver coins.

Many of these had lost their images and stamps, so were no more than discs of silver. (This was at a time when there was no legislation to protect wreck sites) I borrowed a library book on lost wax casting and set about seeing what I could do with these discs. But, when I started working on them, it felt like a sacrilege to melt these worn coins.

They were part of history. Silver was relatively cheap, so I purchased bullion instead. Then working from books on silversmithing I taught myself how to raise a; bowl, mug or goblet. I soon found there were limitations in this form of learning and needed tuition to master the skills. I went to Chelmsford in England and worked under a practising silversmith, then spent time with a jeweller in Somerset to round off my fabrication skills. I have been designing and making pieces in both silver and gold ever since.

Most of my pieces reflect the ocean – and that’s what 25 years on the deck of a boat does for you.

My mark – JA in a scallop shell – is listed in the book of Marks of Australian Silver Smiths.

 

If possible, all pieces are best looked in the store to get perspective.

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