We are privileged to introduce Chris Neilson, Master Jeweller. Chris will be creating bespoke, world class masterpieces for our LeGassick in store boutiques. Chris has worked in the jewellery industry for over 26 years and loves every single minute! His passion is crafting bespoke, luxury pieces from raw materials, while respecting and staying true to traditional jewellery techniques. We are so excited to introduce Chris and cannot wait to showcase his incredible talent through his incredible creations with you.
What is your history in the industry?
I started my apprenticeship back in 1995 where I was fortunate to work and learn from an incredible Master Jeweller. He was very traditional in his jewellery making techniques, and an incredibly hard task master, but through this experience I was able to learn and develop my craft. In 2002 I landed an amazing opportunity to work with a luxury, prestigious jeweller where I continued to grow and develop my skills. I worked incredibly hard to further my career and landed the head jeweller position for this company where I was responsible for creating bespoke, luxury creations to the highest of levels. After being in this lead role for over 10 years, I decided to look for a new challenge. Late 2020, I was offered an opportunity to work with LeGassick as their Head Jeweller to create bespoke, custom creations and I’m looking forward to creating pieces for the LeGassick collection.
When did you discover you wanted to be a jeweller?
I started my journey when I was 5 years old. My grandfather loved to fossick and collect stones of all shapes and sizes. Part of his collection was an amazing array of sapphires. One night, he tipped these sapphires onto the surface of the torch, switched this on and what I saw was this amazing kaleidoscope of colours, dancing on the roof. Just looking into the array of colours, the play of light from these sapphires, I fell in love and became fascinated with gemstones. My love for coloured gemstones developed as I grew up and I followed this through to combine this passion with my skills working and crafting with my hands and sought out a jewellery apprenticeship after I finished school. I’m still working in the industry and loving every minute!
What are your favourite stones to work with? And your favourite pieces to create?
My favourite gems to work with would be predominantly diamonds – white and coloured diamonds. They are amazing from a manufacturing standpoint for their versatility and durability. I have had the opportunity to work with some of the rarest, most beautiful pink Argyle diamonds from all over the world. Their beauty, rarity and value is just unbelievable!
My personal favourite gemstone is an opal. I was exposed to these growing up with my grandfather and these beautiful gemstones hold a sentimental place in my heart.
Why is making jewellery so special to you?
What I love most about creating jewellery is taking an idea, a vision, and being able to take this right through to the finished piece. Seeing the smile on the client’s face, the satisfaction they have when they see that final piece. It gives me a great feeling and sense of pride that I’ve been able to craft something so special and unique from raw materials to the final finished masterpiece.
Where could we find you on the weekends?
Predominantly in the kitchen – I love to cook! I decided a long time ago that we have to eat to survive so why not do it well? I’ve been cooking since I was young and learnt to cook from both my grandmothers, my godparents and my mum who was an amazing cook. I love to cook and create beautiful food. Wood styling cooking and cooking outdoors is one of my favourite things to do.