Meet our Makers | ROHAN
17 July 2020
We are proud that all of our designs are still handcrafted in Australia, in our Leederville workshop. We want you to get to know the talented people behind our jewellery. Meet our founder and Master Jeweller, Rohan Milne.
What is your role at Rohan Jewellers?
It is broad and varied…I think it is currently sitting somewhere between Founder/Creative Director/Jeweller.
I see my role as leading our Workshop and Design Team, maintaining our design aesthetic and ensuring we stay true to our DNA of handcrafting beautifully designed jewellery to be worn for generations to come. In a world where everything is moving towards faster, quicker, cheaper….we are consciously moving in the opposite direction. Easier said than done, but this is what Rohan Jewellers is built on.
What inspires you?
Traditional methods of craftsmanship being kept alive. Whether its architecture, building or wood work, there is something to be said about honouring the traditions of the past and making things to last. I’m also inspired by other entrepreneurial business leaders who think outside the square and push the boundaries to do things differently.
“There is no doubt it can be stressful but we have a lot of fun doing what we love. There is a great camaraderie between the team that has taken years to achieve.”
What is your happy place?
We have a strong connection to Italy having lived there for many years. One of my happy places is in a villa we often stay at in the Sabine Hills just out of Rome. Closer to home would be BBQ’ing in my backyard and down south at Quindalup in the summer time.
What do you love about working in Leederville?
Leederville still has a grit and personality that only comes from the existence of independent business and a sense of community. I love that you can walk down Oxford Street and talk to other business owners who are actively working in their business doing what they love. The coffee is also bang on.
What are your least known talents?
Cooking and car racing – the latter more of a love not a talent as I took out a tree last year.
What is your favourite gemstone?
Argyle pink diamonds are truly a freak of nature and you can’t go past Argyle for vibrancy of colour.
Sapphires are also at the top of my list – many people don’t realise the variety of colours that sapphires come in. We have made some stunning sapphire pieces recently.
Do you have a favourite client story behind a piece you created?
We are so lucky to have amazing clients who trust us to create incredible pieces of jewellery for them. We have a few clients in particular who love the creative process of designing a piece of jewellery – we have a lot of fun and it becomes a creative outlet for them. This will often involve a few beers or glasses of wine. We often start with one idea and the process of creativity takes over and we land somewhere completely different design wise. Some of my favourite memories are around this design phase.
We also have a lot of clients overseas. I love that there are RJ pieces all over the world in Japan, Europe and the US.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to become a jeweller?
Dedication and commitment. You need to be prepared to do the hard yards and push through when you want to give up. Traditional handcrafting is not easy. It is a dying art. We are losing these skills to machinery, computers and the never ending pursuit to make things faster and more cost effective.
Which of your tools do you most like working with?
Hammers are cool….it seems like a simple tool yet they come in all different shapes, sizes and weights and have very specific uses.
I also love my Japanese drill and my titanium skeleton framed saw….I can’t pick one.
What do you do to unwind after a busy week?
A glass of wine and dinner with my family and close friends. We are lucky to live in a neighbourhood where we all know – and like – each other so you will often find us down the road or next door at one of the neighbours houses after a busy week.