A chance encounter with a silversmith and an inherited box of tools set the path for a former journalist to retrain as a jeweller.
Despite a high-powered career in politics and journalism, Thierry Kelaart, 31, says she has always been destined to be a jeweller following a ‘fascinating meeting’ with a gifted silversmith when she was just a teenager.
Thierry, from Ladbroke Grove, said: “I was first introduced to silversmithing and jewellery making as a teenager during a family holiday in Devon. We spent an afternoon with a local silversmith called Mr Geldhart, and I remember being absolutely fascinated by his work and tools. He was an incredibly inspiring man, but sadly I only ever got the opportunity to meet him that once.”
Touched by Thierry’s interest in jewellery-making the silversmith went on to leave her his tools in his will, unbeknown to her.
“I didn’t receive his legacy of tools until several years after having met him so it was a total surprise. Inheriting all those amazing silversmithing tools was quite a shock. It was also quite overwhelming as I was still very young then but it certainly sparked my interest in jewellery making.”
A decade later she decided to give up her fulltime job to retrain as a jeweller and enrolled onto a jewellery making course at Kensington and Chelsea College.
“It’s not so overwhelming when I look at the tools now that I know how to use them! Every time I’m taught something new in class I come home to discover I already have the tools to make it because of Mr Geldhart. I’d like to think he would be pleased with what I’m now doing.” said Thierry
Speaking about her Jewellery Making course at the College Thierry added:
“My tutors are brilliant. They’re very skilled and still work as designers! What I most love about the course is that we get to study art for part of it. The art side helps me explore my ideas and inspire new work. I’m doing something I really love, which makes a career so much more fulfilling.”
Thierry hopes to start her own jewellery business having successfully completed her course at the College.
Kensington and Chelsea College still has places for courses starting in September 2014. To enrol, simply attend one of the enrolment sessions below*:
- Tuesday 26th August – Friday 29th August
- Monday 1st September – Thursday 4th September
*Sessions take place at our Chelsea and Kensington Centres and each will be hosting different subjects. For times and details of which centre to attend check out our enrolment session, or call 0207 573 5333,