Most of us well the females amongst us anyway have been known to press our noses against the windows of jewellery shops, imagining how perfect a special item would look on our fingers, or around our necks or wrists, but few of us have ever seen how these sparkling and gleaming beauties are created.
Creatours, a company owned by Marie Watt and Kim Adams, has been taking groups around Melbourne for around five years, showing things of artistic interest. Groups are small in number, giving the opportunity to meet professional artists and craftspeople, interact with them and see the techniques and processes involved.
A variety of tours is offered some in the centre of Melbourne; others venture into the bush to visit potters, painters, sculptors and other artisans in their working environment.
Nicky Hepburn is an artist and designer of jewellery and precious objects. She is a trained gold and silversmith and uses alternative materials in her jewellery design. She makes conventional jewellery, miniatures, and likes to work with semi-precious gems.
Cass Partington uses gold, stainless steel, silver and some plastics. She does some commission work and sells through her studio, in shops and galleries.
Darylle Kelly is an artist and gemologist specialising in Australian and South Sea pearls. In the '70s she discovered the "lost wax" technique. She was taken with the art of pouring wax into a mould and began a new career, achieved a Diploma of Gemology and is qualified to work with precious stones, amber, opals and pearls. Her work is on display in 10 galleries.
Debbie Sheezel is an internationally-renowned enamellist who has taught and lectured around the world. Enamellists are few and far between as it is a difficult medium, popularised by the Greeks, French and English to decorate icons for their places of worship. Debbie experimented and began selling her work, which includes one-off collectors' items of jewellery, bowls, dishes and murals.
At the end of the tour you can enjoy a coffee at the Adelphi Hotel in Flinders Lane. It is recognised as an architectural showpiece of Melbourne.
Creatours have gift vouchers covering all of their tours.