When Lisa Clune was a little girl, she had a fascination for all things gold and treasures.
Never growing out of that love, she has dedicated her career to designing and handcrafting engagement rings and wedding bands, as well as other bespoke jewellery items. Lisa recently opened a shopfront for her business, Set Together, and chatted with My Weekly Preview about how she creates these stunning pieces to be treasured forever.
How did you get into jewellery making?
I grew up in a small town in New Zealand. As a kid, I loved gold, treasure, gems and all things ancient Egypt – because of all their treasure. I used to make treasure maps and pretend there was gold buried in our yard. I spent, and still spend, a lot of time sketching. After high school, I attended a goldsmithing and design school and got hooked on jewellery manufacturing from that moment on.
How did you develop your career, that ultimately led to Set Together?
After I attended the goldsmithing and design school, I moved to Melbourne and found work at a high-end jewellery boutique. I eventually became their head jeweller. During that time, I also went to night school to become a certified gemmologist, graduating in 2017. After 10 years in the trade, I thought it was time to start researching how to start a business. I continued to work part-time as a bench jeweller for two more years while I built up and created Set Together.
How do you bring a jewellery design concept to life?
I have a discussion with my client to cover what styles, ideas and inspirations they have for their piece. We also discuss what type and shape of gemstones and/or diamonds they want. I then source the appropriate gems and sketch up three or four concepts.
What is the jewellery-making process and how long does it take?
When hand making a ring, I start with raw metal and with a series of bending, filing and soldering, the ring is formed. I create the ring to fit the gemstones and make sure the measurements are exactly to the original design. I also create rings using CAD (computer-aided design) and wax carving, which are then finished by hand. From initial concept to the finished piece takes about four or five weeks.
What do you love most about your job?
I love almost all aspects of my job – from sketching designs to creating pieces at the bench and working with my clients. I am also fortunate enough to have the opportunity to meet gem merchants and source beautiful gems overseas and at trade fairs. To say this is my dream job is almost an understatement.
What is the importance of the shopfront?
When I first started the business I set up a workshop in the basement of my home. I was meeting clients in the dining room or at cafes around the Coast. After a year-and- a-half of rapid growth, I decided to get my own shop as I felt I had outgrown the basement. I wanted the studio to be a little different to the usual jewellery shop, so I set it up to have a semi-industrial look where you can see through to the workshop. Moving into the shop was the best decision and it has allowed Set Together to grow.
Find Set Together Jewellery at B4/ 354 Mons Road Forest Glen, or visit settogether.com.au.