About Me



Rhodesia. Art, woodwork, rock collecting, rudimentary stone cutting, the wonder of the outdoors! High school was a big chore except for woodwork and sport. For entertainment I read the encyclopaedia, explored, and made all kinds of stuff. Doing national service was right up my alley. My first job was a draftsman and I saved enough money to quit and be a hippy. A year later I found another job in the remotest corner of the bush to get away from hippies and the ever-demanding call to arms. There I met an Australian girl.


Australia. Married, a new culture, new everything. I studied jewellery and silver smithing at night while completing a course in industrial design. Became a craft instructor and crafts were my passion. Our first son died at the age of seven. It hurts and there is no remedy; a complete change seemed like a good idea.


Zimbabwe. Familiar yet so different, the euphoria of a fresh new nation, and a great need for teachers. I instantly found employment as a high school metalwork teacher. The environment was perfect for my skills in self-sufficiency and my wife established a thriving nursery school. Eight years later and with no permanent residence status forthcoming, aids all around us, rumblings on the horizon, our three children young enough to make a move…

Tasmania. Never seen it before, different to Australia, and we like it despite the cold winters. Our chequered past counts for zilch in employment. The lure of state dependency dangles enticingly however I found a jeweller who had lost his sidekick and was looking for a new one. He took me on piecemeal to see if I could be taught and I seized the chance to learn real jewellery from an old master.













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Paul Jelley November 9, 2008 at 5:21 pm

I found your biography both interesting and touching. At the age of 62, with my main employer (in London UK) under great pressure to rationalise and become more streamlined, I am aware that my own chequered past would also count for zilch in employment elsewhere.

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