John Harrison | Gold Coast Jewellery Designer

In a world of mass production and compromised quality, there remains an ever shrinking community of true artisans.

Designers, creators and innovators who enjoy the thrill of a ‘blank canvas’ on the medium of their choosing, upon which something that has never been seen before… begins to emerge.

John Harrison is one such artisan.

Jewellery designer and Master Craftsman with nearly four decades and over 100,000 hours on the bench, John’s passion for his craft has not diminished. In fact, he tells me, his passion is only increasing.

Name | John Harrison of, The Harrison Jewellery Company P/L

Located | Gold Coast, Queensland

Speciality | Original designs, Diamonds and Exotic Gems crafted into exquisite pieces of handmade Gold and Platinum jewellery.

Draws his inspiration from… Spending time with my clients, getting a sense of who they are and what they like. The design process is a very personal and emotive experience – a collaboration between myself as the designer and my clients who are the trusting recipient of the creative process. As I’m speaking with them, I get ideas and images in my mind of what their piece could look like.

I never look at other people’s jewellery, magazine images or even my own previous work for clients. I regard each person as totally unique and the jewellery piece I create for them is an extension of who I am as a designer, who they are as an individual and the vision we create together.

What makes a beautiful design? The difference between a beautifully designed piece of flowing jewellery and a mediocre one is two key design elements – Line and Balance.

Unfortunately much of the jewellery I see designed and made today looks like a mismatch of different design elements and styles that are thrown together. They are not looking to design a piece of art but a structure created only to fulfil the function of displaying and encasing a gemstone.

My intention is to always create beautiful, flowing, seamless lines in my pieces where the eye is drawn easily across the form of the jewellery. Many jewellers over-design and try and put too much into a ring. The rule ‘less is more’ applies very well here.

I believe jewellery should evoke an emotion. I want people to ‘feel’ something when they see my pieces, as they are an extension of the person wearing it.

On the jewellery industry… Rightly or wrongly, technology is rapidly changing the face of the jewellery industry, with the focus shifting from time honoured handcrafted skills to computer-aided design.

Sadly, many aspiring jewellers who are looking to learn the ‘traditional’ techniques of jewellery making cannot find apprenticeships or anyone willing to teach them.

The jewellers coming through are much more ‘technician’ than craftsperson, as the industry once again changes its dynamic and demands a quicker turn around time with reduced costs.

His advice to up-and-coming jewellery designers? Don’t compromise!

Don’t let anyone convince you that you cannot be an amazing jeweller and reach your full potential. Economic pressures have always been with us. You can be tempted to lower your standards and not put your maximum effort into a piece because its not worth it.

Everything we do is worthy of our effort and every finished piece a reflection of who we are as artists and as people. It’s so easy to be mediocre.

I encourage you to keep a strong hold on your integrity and pursue excellence in all you do.