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JAA Australasian Jewellery Awards

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Michael Muratore says he fell into the jewellery at the age of 15 and has enjoyed every moment of the journey since. Seven years ago, he started Murazzo, with the dream to make his company renowned world-wide as an Australian jeweller of the highest quality one-of-a-kind handmade creations. Here are Michael’s words on his winning piece and his place in the Australian jewellery industry.

This piece was inspired by my fascination with Australian sapphires. I love the vast array of colours the sapphires produce and I wanted to create a piece that showcased this beauty. Having access to some of the largest and most unique Australian sapphires allowed me to create a showpiece that pushed all boundaries. The Cascade earrings are an ode to the many different landscapes that span across our beautiful country such as the bright blue Pacific ocean, the lush green rainforests and the stunning yellow sands of the Australian coastline.

The earrings are a representation of my life’s work—a combination of the technical skills and artistic vision that I have perfected over a 22 year career. Every skill I have learnt in the trade has been incorporated into this design—from the faceting of gems to handmaking jewellery to diamond setting, this piece was brought to life by my single pair of hands. With over 360 hours of labour from start to finish, these earrings challenged me in ways I’ve never been challenged before.

I believe that jewellery is one of the greatest artforms of all time. As a jewellery creator, you have the ability to imagine a design in your mind and then transform the most precious metals and gems into a work of art. The greatest form of expression is to create something you love every day. I believe there is a little piece of myself in every creation. Entering this award competition challenged me to operate outside of the box of traditional jewellery design and manufacture.

A competition of this calibre requires you to bring your best of your skills and ability to the table to be judged by the industry’s best. It has taught me that even after 22 years there is always a higher level you can take your work to and you should never stop learning and striving for more. The awards pushed me beyond my limits and set a new standard for the work I want to regularly create. I encourage everyone in the industry, regardless of your experience, to utilise the amazing opportunity the JAA awards offer.

The process of creating an award entry is the most rewarding part. It teaches you so many valuable skills and lessons you would not otherwise experience. Winning the colour category and being awarded as Jeweller of the Year is one of the proudest moments of my career. This honour not only creates credibility and trust with my clients but also within the jewellery industry. I see a very bright future ahead filled with endless Australian sapphire creations that have never been seen before. I am determined to keep innovating and advancing my skills to see how far I can evolve as a jewellery artist. I truly feel blessed to be part of such an amazing industry.

I want to thank all the amazing craftspeople who have given me the invaluable gift of knowledge and time. Thanks also to the Australian Natural Sapphire Company for their trust in supplying me with the finest Australian sapphire rough to cut the stones in the award pieces. I’m honoured to be in partnership with such an amazing company.

Thank you to the JAA for all the hard work that has been invested into this competition. Most of all, thank you to my beautiful wife Natalie and my three children for believing in me to keep achieving my goals and dreams.