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Harriet Kelsall apprentice named UK ‘fine jewellery champion’

An apprentice working for bespoke jeweller Harriet Kelsall has been named the UK ‘champion for fine jewellery making’ at the World Skills UK competition. 

Will Lander, who fended off competition from six other competitors to pick up the gong, had to create a sterling silver pendant to a very specific design, to be made from scratch and completed in 15 hours over the three-day event. The competition was held at Birmingham’s NEC from 13 November.

Judges awarded the contestants marks for accuracy to drawing, technical skills such as saw, filing, soldering, surface finish and economic use of material.

Lander said: “The competition was extremely challenging. Working under pressure to complete the piece to the highest standard possible, within set time parameters, in an unfamiliar environment, with thousands of people going through each day.

“It was a working environment like no other. I had to be completely focussed, not distracted by the visitors.”

Harriet Kelsall, the namesake managing director, said: “Handmaking skills are at the heart of what we do and the skills Will has demonstrated in making this piece are all used within the work he does at the bench in our onsite workshops every day.”

Image courtesy of World Skills UK

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