Receiving my Jewellery bench from Keelin was one of the major turning points for developing the By Leahy brand. But before that happened the biggest milestone was learning how to make Jewellery in the first place.
I was curious about making jewellery for some time before I learned how to. The curiosity came from a combination of being inquisitive about knowing how things were made, and loving the delicacy and beauty of Fine Jewellery. Either way, I seized the opportunity when I was living in London. I was so fortunate to be living within walking distance to Hatton Garden, the centre of the Jewellery industry in the UK, and by chance, I met Alexandra on a Jewellery workshop.
Alexandra, a Master Jeweller who established the Central School of Jewellery over 10 years ago, was the perfect person to enable my interest in and learning of Jewellery making techniques. Her philosophy was to teach the fundamental steps to Jewellery making, the exact same steps that are utilised when making a Fabergé egg. In her view, once these steps were perfected, any piece of jewellery could be made.
We started with designing onto metal and sawing the designs from silver sheet. We quickly moved onto soldering, filing, shaping, stone setting, covering all of the processes and details in between. Before I knew it, I had designed, wax carved, cast, finished and plated my first collection, with fantastic support.