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A picture of Moegi Yamanashi

Moegi Yamanashi

Jeweller

in jeweller

Who are you, and what do you do?

I'm Moegi - I'm Japanese, but I've been living in Melbourne for almost 5 years.

I usually work as a barista, but I started making jewellery - I make my own designs as well, but mainly customised based on what customers want. This is one of my passions.

What hardware do you use?

I use a small knife, chopping board, wax, candles, carving tools, files, saw, pliers, silver wires, hammers, and a gas burner. The technique I use mainly is called "lost wax", where I make the shape with wax first and bring that piece to a metal casting place to turn into actual sterling silver. I use different types of wax - soft wax that I can shape with my fingers, and ring-shaped wax that I can file and carve to make the shape. Depending on what I make, I'll choose the wax to work on first and then use different tools like a saw, carving tools, files, and candles to make the shape which is in my imagination.

The other technique I use is silversmithing, so I use tools to change the shape and texture of actual silver. I use pliers to shape wire, solder/flux/gas burner to solder pieces, and hammer/files/oxidising solution to finish up.

Because I'm still gathering proper tools one by one, I use kitchen tools and anything else that works.

Also, I use an iPad (Air, released in 2019) and an Apple Pencil (1st generation) for researching and designing jewellery.

And what software?

I use an app called GoodNotes on the iPad to draw and design pieces. It's originally a note-taking app, so it's not made specifically for designing jewellery, but because I do other different things like studying having this app really helps me organise my different types of work all at once.

I focus on customised jewellery for each of the different orders, so I usually draw 3 to 5 different sketches to send to customers so that they can choose or add more suggestions for what they want.

I used to draw on a notebook, but since I started using the app it's easier for me to edit after an initial designe. Also, I can make a different "notebook" and put my work in different files, which helps me organise what I do.

What would be your dream setup?

Having a tiny cozy studio is my absolute dream (which will happen in the future!), with all the tools set up, and where I can feel close to nature so that I can get inspiration. At the moment I work on everything in my living room and on the balcony, with limited tools. Because I've just started my work on silver and am still working towards being a skilled silversmith, I don't have enough tools at the moment. So I want to gather the basics to work on pieces, and also get a desk with all the things organised.

I also love to do ceramics, so it would be very lovely to have a desk for jewellery work and wheels for ceramics to have my own creative space!